Hardwood flooring manufacturer taking over 2 West Virginia sawmills that shut down

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A hardwood flooring manufacturer has agreed to acquire two sawmills from a West Virginia lumber company that shut down.

Mountville, Pennsylvania-based AHF Products said it will purchase Allegheny Wood Products sawmills in the Greenbrier County community of Smoot and the Randolph County community of Norton. AHF said in a statement that about 80 jobs will be saved at the two mills. More jobs are expected to be created in the region for loggers, truckers and suppliers.

The sawmills will augment the supply of lumber to AHF’s solid wood flooring manufacturing facility in the Randolph County community of Beverly, the statement said.

The supply of eastern U.S. hardwood lumber is currently 65% of what it was prior to the coronarivus pandemic and 40% of that before 2007. The sawmill purchases will supply 25 million board feet annually and recover all of the lumber supply that AHF would have lost due to the closure of Allegheny Wood Products, the statement said.

“The purchase of these two sawmills is a wonderful and smart investment,” AHF President and CEO Brian Carson said.

Founded in 1973, Allegheny Wood Products grew to eight sawmills in the state and touted itself as one of the largest producers of eastern U.S. hardwoods before shutting down in February. An official for the state’s unemployment agency told lawmakers that about 900 workers were affected. A federal lawsuit filed by a former employee accuses the company of failing to give the required 60-day notice before ordering mass layoffs.

Allegheny gained widespread attention last year when its attempt to build a log fumigation facility in picturesque Hardy County drew fierce opposition. The company eventually dropped the bid.