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This college town is gaining a new business and 35 new jobs as American Timbercraft Home's Grand Junction production facility moves to the Commodore Building on Ephraim's west side.

The 80,000-square-foot building is now being remodeled to meet Timbercraft's needs, and the company is already moving some of its Grand Junction equipment to the site.Hiring is now under way and production will begin about June 15, according to company officials. Bob Braegger, now assistant manager of Timbercraft's small Ogden production facility, will manage the Ephraim plant. He said some of the Ogden employees may come with him.

Timbercraft Homes manufactures log buildings, primarily houses, but also cabins, condominiums and motels. Some of the structures are custom built, but most are factory-built modular units that are hauled by tractor-trailer to the building site and erected there.

The logs that are the principal element in the buildings are obtained in northern Utah. Dimension lumber and other building materials are obtained from Utah wholesalers.

Braegger said production will start with a crew of about 10 and expand to around 35 by late summer. Most will be hired from the local work force, although a few highly skilled people will be brought in.

Timbercraft Homes has nine homes sold for delivery as soon as possible and another 22 on order, Braegger said. It is also committed to produce a 24-unit condominium project in Keystone, Colo., and 27-unit motel in Telluride, Colo.

Why the move from Grand Junction to Ephraim? Braegger said the company was lured by availability of the Commodore Building, which is owned by the Snow College Foundation and provides the needed expansion space. He also cited Ephraim's favorable location with regard to building materials and markets, the availability of labor and the facility's proximity to the Snow College West campus and its innovations technology department.

A further incentive was rent and property tax breaks over a three-year period that will help American Timbercraft Homes cover its new start-up costs.