With plant closing, future of property and silos uncertain - WDRB 41 Louisville News

With plant closing, future of property and silos uncertain

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- As the sun sets over the familiar University of Louisville silos, there is the promise of a new day. But not for the 50 employees of the Solae plant, who learned this week their days are numbered. They'll lose their jobs when production stops at the end of year.

"Unfortunately, it's a real tough day for us here at Solae Louisville," said plant manager Brian Jenkins, one of dozens of employees who will soon be out of work.

The company that makes soy products will stop production in December as part of Dupont's restructuring. With the unfortunate job loss, there is uncertainty about what will happen to the property or the iconic silos that hug Interstate 65 near the University of Louisville campus.

Charlie Springer says it could mean opportunity for the university. Springer's blog -- "UofL Card Game" -- tracks UofL athletic news. When Springer posted a story about the Solae closing and the silos on Wednesday, it garnered more than 1,300 web hits.

"This peak here is when I put up the silos and this other peak is when I put up the story about the seventh bowl," Springer said as he pointed to his computer monitor.

Next door to the Solae plant, backhoes have been moving earth to make way for the new UofL soccer stadium. Springer thinks it's only a matter of time before UofL makes a move on the land.

Kenny Klein, the sports information director for UofL Athletics, told WDRB News the university would be interested in the site. Klein said UofL Athletics Director Tom Jurich recently mentioned his interest in adding a basketball arena to campus. But Klein cautioned those comments were only made in reference to recent talks from Mayor Greg Fischer and others trying to attract an NBA team to Louisville.

UofL spokesman Mark Hebert says the university would be interested in the property but would not speculate if the silos would remain.

"I hate to see the jobs go, but I would love to see those silos gone," said Springer. "It is not reflective of what Louisville wants to be. It's not reflective of what the University of Louisville wants to be. There is just too much potential there with that land."

Springer says he hates to see the jobs leave, but adds it could be a golden opportunity for the school he loves.

"It's would to be humongous -- the impact that that would have on the campus," said Springer.

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