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Torch Technologies set to build new lab in Huntsville

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. --  A company in Huntsville is ready to start a $6 million expansion. Torch Technologies will be hiring around 40 more scientists when they open their new lab near Memorial Parkway.

Right now, it's just a few colorful stakes in the ground on an empty grass lot. "It'd be a little anticlimactic if we had a big hole in the ground," Torch CEO Bill Roark said.

But any day, Bill Roark knows this lot will start to take shape. "I think it'll be within a year."

Torch has been anchored along Memorial Parkway in south Huntsville since 2002. "Now we've seen two, three, four, five, six expansions. And I think there are many more to come," Mayor Tommy Battle said.

"The services that Torch provides directly affect the men and women who serve our country," Alabama Governor Kay Ivey said.

Torch specializes in research and development. Right now, they've been awarded over $1 billion worth of government contracts. "Reverse engineering some obsolete technology so we can make them faster, lighter, cheaper, better," Roark said.

"To re-engineering the memory on early warning radars that protect our nation from surprise missile attacks," Torch president John Watson said.

But the success of Torch is no surprise to Roark. He says they plan to hire 40 more scientists once the new lab is built.

Once it's finished, the new lab will be over 35,000 square feet. It's being built at Chris Drive and Vermont Road, down the street from Torch's larger center.