Advanced Drainage Systems Inc. (ADS) will open its 54th manufacturing plant in Clifford, Mich. And from its headquarters in Hilliard, the company's CEO can see its products being used across the street.

Advanced Drainage Systems Inc. (ADS) will open its 54th manufacturing plant in Clifford, Mich. And from its headquarters in Hilliard, the company's CEO can see its products being used across the street.

"There's a new development down the street on Trueman Boulevard, and our pipe is in there," said Joe Chlapaty, chairman and CEO. "When they put in Trueman Boulevard, a lot of our pipe was on it."

Founded in 1966, ADS was based in Upper Arlington in 1972, Chlapaty said, and after outgrowing its space, moved to Hilliard 10 years ago.

"It's a beautiful location," Chlapaty said. "We were the first new company in this office area. In fact, there wasn't even a Trueman Boulevard when we moved in here. We had to come in through the Red Roof Inn drive to try to back into here.

"We've landscaped it beautifully," he said. "We didn't want people to be concerned about being in a residential area and not having an attractive complex. We just try to be good members of the community."

The headquarters houses 100 of the private company's 3,500 employees. Among the ADS locations are an office and testing facility in Findlay, a plant and customer service center in London, a maintenance complex in New Miami, and plants in Napoleon and Wooster, Ohio.

"We're probably one of the largest pipe companies in the world," Chlapaty said. "Our international presence is really all the western hemisphere. We have a strong presence in Canada, South America and Mexico."

The company's corrugated high-density polyethylene (HDPE) pipe that will be produced in Clifford is its major product.

"If you've seen the black flexible pipe in Home Depot and other places, we're the company that brought that to this country and established the market for it," Chlapaty said. ADS makes rigid pipe that is smooth on the inside and corrugated on the outside, with a diameter of up to 60 inches.

The pipe, which can be identified by its green line, serves as alternative to concrete, steel and clay pipe in agricultural, commercial and other applications.

"It's chemically inert, which means that there are no chemicals that can deteriorate," Chlapaty said of HDPE pipe. "It's abrasion- and corrosion-resistant. It's very strong but lightweight, so it's much easier and quicker to install. On a total installed-cost basis, there's a significant savings compared to concrete or steel."

Hilliard economic development director David Meeks calls ADS "the perfect corporate citizens."

Meeks said ADS contributed the stonework at the base of the Hilliard Family Aquatic Center and was the largest private contributor to the First Responders Park.

"They were a trailblazer when they first came to Hilliard, taking that site off of what's now Trueman Boulevard," Meeks said. "There was a time when that was just a vision, and I don't think we even had a date to build the road, and they still went forward with that project.

"I drive around the country a lot, and I'm always looking for that familiar green stripe at construction sites."