Lewis Machine and Tool Company prepares for expansion in Eldridge, Iowa

ELDRIDGE, Iowa -- An Illinois business is getting ready to make the move to Eldridge in the coming months.

Lewis Machine & Tool Company plans to double its size at its new Iowa headquarters.

Officials braved the cold to break ground on the site on Friday, Jan. 13

The company makes firearms and custom parts for police and military in some 40 countries.

"We've just outgrown our current facility," said President Karl Lewis.  "Also, being able to integrate some of our testing and R and D projects - indoor-to-indoor shooting area is going to be a tremendous help."

Lewis hopes to open in Eldridge by mid-Spring 2018.  He also wants to eventually grow from 150 employees in Iowa.

"We're currently operating out of three separate locations, so we'll be able to integrate everything all together. That will help our flow of materials and processes, which will be very good."