WESTMINSTER — Brian L. Raver stops every day at the Air Business Park to snap a picture of the progress workers are making on the building where he'll move his company later this spring.
He plans to arrange the photosin a small album to keep in the reception area of the new office of Advanced Vacuum Co. Inc., a company he started 20 years ago with three employees.
A new building is a big step for the small company and an opportunity for it to grow.
Advanced Vacuum is packed into a former shoe factory on East Green Street. The company's 18 employees work with their desks close together, using every bit of available rented space.
"This was an old building when we moved it -- and it's still old,"he said as he walked through the cramped space.
The new, 10,000-square-foot building will give them room to maneuver, and Raver -- thecompany's owner and president -- said he owns enough land at the site to add up to another 10,000 square feet.
Within the next two years, he said he plans to hire another five employees, and within the next five years, he probably will add on to the building.
Raver, 49, brought the company to Carroll 10 years ago from Owings Mills. His father was born in Baltimore County, and eight years earlier, Raver and his family had moved here.
"I like the country; I like the people," he said. "We wanted to stay in the county."
Advanced rebuildsvacuum pumps used in many commercial processes, Raver said.
The company also manufactures vacuum systems and sells vacuum supplies under the trade name ADVACO, he said.
Its customers include NASA, Westinghouse Electric Corp., ITT and the National Institutes of Health, Raver said. Twenty-five percent of the company's contracts are from the federal government, he said.
Sales have increased from $60,000 in 1972 to $2.5 million last year, Raver said.
"I believe in slow,sure, solid growth," said Raver, who started in the vacuum pump business at age 19 at Baltimore Vacuum Pump Co.
Workers from Stuller Construction Inc. in Taneytown broke ground on the new building in mid-February, Raver said. He hopes to move in June.
The land and building cost about $500,000, he said.
The one-story brown split-face block building is on 2.1 acres on a rear lot near Modern Comfort Systems.
The lot is adjacent to land owned by Donald E. Bullock of Westminster, who began work last week on a restaurant scheduled to open this summer.
Raver said his employees, some of whom have worked for him for many years, are looking forward to the move.
"We're likea family, very close-knit," he said.
His wife, Darleen, works as the company's bookkeeper.
"Everybody's real anxious," she said about the move. "We're busting here at the seams."
Some employees even have logged overtime hours on their own time to paint the office furniture, she said.