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International Paper – Project Keystone

International Paper’s “Project Keystone” took a former 415,700-square-foot publishing facility and transformed it into a state-of-the-art corrugated packaging plant. The central portions of the project included a complete renovation of the facility’s interior, extensive roof demolition, and the creation of a parking lot on the exterior of the building. Throughout the project, the Wohlsen team focused on ensuring the safety of all project team members and enhancing collaboration across the vast footprint of the site. The team’s ability to keep the project on schedule, mitigate potential delays, and keep up with the constantly changing equipment schedules allowed the facility to open on time and start running its first piece of equipment approximately a month and a half ahead of schedule. By converting this run-down warehouse into a modern corrugated packaging plant that produces cardboard boxes for companies worldwide, Project Keystone created new jobs, contributing to the local economy.


International Paper


Preconstruction, Construction Management


Atglen, PA


415,700 square feet - reno 10,000 square feet - new




October 2022

“The Wohlsen team was professional, courteous, responsive, and knowledgeable. While they were dealing with all the moving pieces and parts, the team was always putting International Paper’s needs in front of theirs.”

James Baumer, Capital COE – Project Manager for International Paper

Expanding the International Paper Footprint

As the world-leading producer of fiber-based products focused on creating packaging solutions, International Paper sought to expand its industrial packaging presence in the Northeastern United States. The company purchased an abandoned factory, formerly used for publishing, in Atglen, PA, and partnered with Wohlsen to transform the building into a state-of-the-art corrugated packaging facility. The new facility is critical to International Paper’s goal of creating packaging solutions that protect and promote goods, enable global commerce, and keep consumers safe.

From Abandoned to State-of-the-Art

Known as “Project Keystone,” the project included the renovation of 415,700 square feet and an addition of 10,000 square feet. The construction team transformed the entire building, including removing walls, rearranging doorways, repainting, cleaning, and repairing the facility. Specialized equipment is required to produce corrugated packaging materials, so the team created new equipment foundations by opening the concrete slab. Transforming the facility did not stop at the interior. During demolition, the team removed approximately a half-mile of ductwork and over 80 pieces of HVAC equipment from the roof.

Innovative Thinking for Enhancing Collaboration

Enhancing collaboration across the entire building required the team to think creatively. On any given day, the team also had over 100 workers daily on site. The team implemented daily huddles to ensure all contractor forepersons connected at least once daily to collaborate on managing daily activities and enhancing productivity. The daily huddles also allowed the teams to proactively approach conflicts between the crew’s locations and deliveries. The team also distributed walkie-talkies to all project forepersons and management team members as a collaboration tool. The walkie-talkies allowed the teams to work together more seamlessly as they did not have to worry about exchanging numbers or cell reception. Utilizing walkie-talkies also improved collaboration and accountability by allowing multiple parties to participate and identify issues. 

A Shared Value: Safety

At Wohlsen, our number one value is Safety focusing on “Work Smart. Think Safe”. International Paper also prioritized safety, so it was a massive focus of the Wohlsen team on the project. With the extensive scope of work, Project Keystone had a full-time team member on site that was designated 100% of the time to ensure safety on the project. Responsibilities for this individual included daily safety inspections and collection of daily paperwork from every trade on site (JHA’s, hot work permits, equipment inspections, etc.). By the end of the project, the Wohlsen team’s dedicated safety individual solely completed over 250 safety inspections throughout Project Keystone.

Key Partners

IDOM, inc.
McMahon Associates, Inc.

Project Features

Building modifications
Office fit-out
Process equipment foundations
Site infrastructure upgrades


Best Industrial Project - Mid Atlantic Real Estate Journal

Award of Excellence - Keystone Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors

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