Erik Van Dyk (left) and Brian Rodenburg (right) breaking the ceremonial ground at West Coast Robotic’s new Agassiz location. The pair hope to have the building ready for March 2020. (Grace Kennedy/The Observer)

West Coast Robotics breaks ground on new Agassiz facility

The Harrison Mills company is hoping to move to Agassiz by March 2020

West Coast Robotics broke ground on its new facility in Agassiz Monday (Oct. 7).

The Harrison Mills robotic milking and feeding equipment company has been waiting a long time to get shovels into the ground at the old Agassiz Hotel site. According to general manager Brian Rodenburg, the company bought the property in 2010 — one year after West Coast Robotics was founded — but hadn’t been able to start construction until now.

“It was the cost of growth,” Rodenburg said. “We grew so fast and that costs a lot of money.”

Business partner Erik Van Dyk agreed, saying that the amount of growth the local company has seen in the last 10 years has been incredible.

“Robots were pretty small at that time, nobody really believed in them or wanted them,” he said. “But as you know, with technology — if you look at your phone 10 years ago and you look at your phone today. It’s the same thing with robots. They’ve improved so much, it was the way of the future.”

RELATED: Kent farm tour shows off new technology

Rodeburg, Van Dyk, their families and West Coast Robotics employees were all at the property Monday, as the two men put the ceremonial shovel into the ground.

Both used the word “finally” to describe the day.

“This has been a long process to get to this point,” Van Dyk said. “It’s an amazing feeling.”

A digital rendering of West Coast Robotic’s new building in Agassiz. (Contributed)

The new facility will be 18,000 square feet, and feature a warehouse, office space and one or two rental bays. No new staff are expected to be hired because of the new building, although Rodenburg said the company’s growth means that more employees are being brought on all the time.

“Where we’re operating now, we always get that temporary feeling,” Van Dyk said. “I think when everybody gets here to a new shop, they’ll have a lighter step and be more efficient.”

Rodenburg and Van Dyk said they hope to have the new building ready to go for March 2020, allowing them to move off of Van Dyk’s Harrison Mills farm.



grace.kennedy@ahobserver.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Erik Van Dyk (centre left) and Brian Rodenburg (centre right) celebrating the groundbreaking of their new West Coast Robotics facility in Agassiz with their families. (Grace Kennedy/The Observer)

Just Posted

Racism wasn’t dealt with properly by school, says Chilliwack graduate

Woman tells story of being verbally assaulted at school for being black

Investigators comb through Chilliwack house following standoff

RCMP say investigation involves report of an early morning shooting

Fraser Valley Health Foundation annouces fifth annual golf tourney

Proceeds will benefit medical facilites across the Valley

No need to get out of your car at food truck festival in Abbotsford and Langley

Annual event takes drive-thru approach during COVID-19 pandemic

Chilliwack dad rescues his two young daughters after truck plunges into Cultus Lake

“I used every single one of my angels that day,” said Dennis Saulnier

March dental conference key to many of B.C.’s COVID-19 cases

Early infections from China, Iran were quickly contained

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

VIDEO: Pitt Meadows dentist gets grand welcome home after two-month COVID-19 battle

Michael Chow was given a surprise send off by hospital staff and ‘welcome home’ from neighbours

MAP: Dr. Henry reveals which B.C. regions have seen most COVID-19 cases

B.C. health officials release a first look at how the novel coronavirus has reached all corners of the province

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation woman, 26, fatally shot by police in Edmundston, N.B.

Police were conducting a well-being check at the time of the incident

Stray dog with duct tape around muzzle spotted in Abbotsford

Pooch has been spotted over two days, but has escaped capture so far

Seniors to receive up to $500 in promised COVID-19 emergency aid in early July

The Liberal government first promised the extra help in mid-May, but had to create a new system to deliver the aid

VIDEO: Revelstoke bear wanders into Animal House pet store

Staff got ready to chase it out with a broom

New study is first full list of species that only exist in Canada

Almost 40 per cent of them are critically imperilled or imperilled and eight are already extinct

Most Read