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Structural Systems Inc. assets to be sold online

At one point, Structural Systems Inc., a building components manufacturer and distributor, was turning business away because of high demand and the need for more space to operate.

Structural Systems’ website remains active and the phone lines are up, but the company closed two months ago, said Bill Blakeslee, Thurmont ‘s chief administrative officer.

Structural Systems’ president Bruce Gordon was unavailable for comment Monday. The number of jobs lost could not be confirmed.

Industrial Recovery Services, a York, Pa.-based auction company, will sell the company’s assets online at www.irsAuctions.com .

Items for sale include Ford Ranger pickup trucks, Bobcat loaders, yardlifts, forklifts, tractors, box trucks, even office equipment, roof and floor trusses and floor joists.

At the company’s peak, Structural Systems employed more than 700 employees between its three main locations in Thurmont , Frederick and Virginia, said Karlys Kline, a former vice president of the company.

But the company has been downscaling the past few years.

On Monday, residents and business owners lamented Structural Systems’ closing.

It certainly is having an effect on the local economy, Blakeslee said.

“They were good town residents. They supported local nonprofit organizations and will be sorely missed,” he said. “It’s a terrible loss to the people who had jobs.”

There’s no doubt a large business closing makes a difference for local merchants, said Jerry Freeze, owner of Thurmont ‘s Cozy Motel and Restaurant.

Cozy Restaurant catered at Structural Systems, Freeze said.

“These companies pick up some of the slack and it’s harder on small towns that don’t have that many industries,” he said.

Cozy general manager Vickie Grinder thinks Structural Systems’ closure also affects Thurmont ‘s bottom line.

“I would assume it doesn’t affect restaurants as much as it affects the revenue the town receives for water and sewer because it’s a huge chunk of revenue,” she said.

Companies shutting their doors seems to be the unfortunate trend, Grinder said.

Structural Systems was founded in the 1970s as a selling agent for wood beam and deck products and was located in Frederick city.

In 1985, the company started manufacturing its own products, and in 1996 moved its plant to Thurmont while keeping its Frederick facility open as a distribution center.

To see more of the Frederick News-Post or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to http://www.fredericknewspost.com . Copyright (c) 2010, The Frederick News-Post, Md.

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