CHESTER— It’s been a longtime coming and the subject of much controversy, but Rock Springs Business Park will be home to Heavy Iron Oilfield Services, LP from Canonsburg, PA. The Business Development Corporation entered into a long-term lease with Heavy Iron on Friday.

Originally the site of Taylor, Smith & Taylor Pottery, land housed a pottery that made dinnerware, hotel ware, toilet set and specialty pieces at the site from 1900 until 1981. The factory then sat vacant for 30 years in a dilapidated condition creating not only an eyesore, but a hazard to the residents and to the environment., one that would require massive cleanup for another use. A committee was formed headed by Mary Lawrence and focused on cleaning up the area and making it feasible for another industry or business. The Committee provided the community partnership necessary to obtain cleanup grants.

With a loan from the Hancock County Commission and two US Environmental Protection Agency Cleanup grants, the BDC took on the task of the environmentally challenged site, demolishing the abandoned site and reclaiming the nine acres that comprised the TS&T site. West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection issued the BDC a certificate of completion for the site in 2018

A cooperative community, county, State and Federal effort made the project a reality. The West Virginia Economic Development Authority (WVEDA), United Bank and Starvaggi Charities and the BDC constructed a 30,000-square-foot spec building and rebranded the site as Rock Springs Business park.

Heavy Iron provides well testing and fracflow back services to the oil and gas industry in the Eastern United States. In addition to the 75 employees the company is bringing to its new location, Heavy Iron announced that it is looking to hire an additional 24 full-time employees immediately.

John Van Slyke, president of Heavy Iron, said “We are thrilled to be moving our company to Chester. The site is central to our operations and provides the room for us to expand as we continue to experience unprecedented growth at Heavy Iron.”

VanSlyke,a Canadian-born citizen ,moved to Pittsburgh in 2010 after graduating college in Missourito totake advantage of the Marcellus Shale boom. In 2011 he started Heavy Iron, which has grown to become one of the industry leaders in providing cutting edge technology and quality personnel to oil and gas wellsites. Following his business success, Van Slyke proudly became a US citizen on Wednesday March 8.

“We couldn’t have asked for a better suited tenant for Rock Springs,” added Marvin Six, executive director of the BDC.“John and his company ,HeavyIron,exemplify the economic growth of our region with a focus on the fossil fuel industry, We are proud to welcome Heavy Iron to Chester and John as a citizen of the United States.