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Graco on Tuesday opened a new $95 million manufacturing building with a rooftop solar array that can provide 20% of the building's power needs.

The 500,000-square-foot building is the first erected on its Patrick J. McHale campus — named after the company's previous chief executive — in Dayton.

More than 3,100 fixed solar panels can generate 1.4 megawatts of power, or enough for 90 average homes in Minnesota.

In February 2021, Graco announced the purchase of 100 acres in Dayton to help ease crowding at its headquarters and manufacturing center in Minneapolis. The process division and portions of the contractor equipment segment will move into the new Dayton building while the industrial segment will stay in the Minneapolis manufacturing space.

Company officials said there are no plans to move headquarters away from Minneapolis.

"As our Minneapolis facility reached full capacity, we knew the Company needed to explore new opportunities for expansion," said Mark Sheahan, chief executive of Graco. "The opening of our new building in Dayton has positioned Graco's business segments in both Dayton and Minneapolis with the capacity for years of growth."

Graco broke ground last month on a second 500,000-square-foot building on the Dayton campus that will serve as the company's worldwide distribution center.

McHale, Graco's president and CEO from 2007 to 2021, was a longtime champion of American and Minnesota manufacturing.

The new building has higher ceilings than the company's Minneapolis manufacturing building, allowing for more racking and storage space. It also has large windows and modern lighting to make the space brighter.

Most of the building is dedicated manufacturing space, but 100,000 square feet is for office, lab and testing space that can be used by Graco engineers or for training and customer demonstrations.

Graco was founded in 1926. As the company approaches its 100th anniversary, officials say the new building will have enough space for the next 15 years of growth within its process and contractor segments.

Graco's process division makes pumps that move beverages, cosmetics, chemicals, oil, gas or other industrial fluids through factories. Its contractor equipment segment makes machinery for applying high performance coatings and foam.

The industrial segment is Graco's largest, generating $840 million of its nearly $2 billion in annual sales in 2021. The contractor and process segments generated $750 million and $400 million, respectively.

The Dayton facility is less than two miles from Graco's largest manufacturing facility in Rogers, which was expanded in 2019. The Rogers plant is 782,000 square feet. The new Dayton building becomes the company's second-largest facility ahead of the Minneapolis manufacturing center.