Local 53 members tackle Superdome renovation
Insulators International Staff — Fri, Oct 6, 2023 @ 10:10 AM
Members of HFIAW Local 53 New Orleans are playing a crucial role in the renovation of the iconic Caesars Superdome.
The Superdome is not only home to the New Orleans Saints and other major sporting events, but it also hosts concerts, festivals, and other events.
Despite its historical importance, the Superdome has only undergone minor renovation and general maintenance work since its initial construction from 1971 to Aug. 3, 1975, and after damage caused by Hurricane Katrina.
However, with the facility set to host the 2025 Super Bowl, a comprehensive overhaul was necessary to revitalize and enhance the structure to keep it competitive and useful for decades to come at a fraction of the cost to build a new stadium.
With the eyes of the world on the Big Easy, and the Superdome in particular, it is critical that the project be finished on time and the work performed correctly.
Multi-phase project priced at $450 million
A multi-phase project, the renovation began in 2020. The entire $450 million project is expected to take five years to complete as work continues in phases that start and end around the Saints’ football season and other major events hosted at the facility.
New Orleans-based Broadmoor is the general contractor for the project, and Baton Rouge-based Gallo Mechanical was awarded the insulation work. They have partnered with local subcontractors Alltemps, the largest Local 53 signatory contractor, and CSI, the Local’s second-largest signatory.
Each subcontractor has worked on specific phases of the project, with CSI involved in Phase Two and all of Phase Three. Meanwhile, Alltemps performed Phase One work and is currently working on the cafeteria portion of Phase Three.
CSI employees have performed work such as piping, fire wrapping and ductwork insulation.
David Nevels, CSI Construction Manager of the Insulation Division, emphasized the significance of their role to ensure proper functioning and energy efficiency within the Superdome.
"Proper mechanical insulation is vital in the renovation of the Caesars Superdome,” said Nevels. “It ensures efficiency, sustainability and optimal performance, making sure the Superdome operates at its best.”
For the Insulators working on this project, it is a race to beat the clock to get their portion of the work finished. As such, they have worked weekends and plenty of overtime hours. At times, Insulators worked 12-hour shifts.
The project has faced its share of challenges, which contributed to the to long shifts and overtime. This included delays due to equipment supply problems.
As of June, CSI already has 15,000 man-hours invested in the various phases. With Phase Three in progress, the manhours logged by CSI employees will only increase.
"The men and women who have been working on the Superdome remodel have been putting in long hours, working several consecutive days and often in hot and uncomfortable temperatures,” said Nevels referring to the commitment of CSI’s employees to the Superdome project. “It’s summertime in New Orleans. Everyone has been dedicated to getting the job done.”
Alltemps employees have worked approximately 10,000 manhours on the renovation so far. They estimate an additional 5,000 manhours will be needed.
30,000 projected man-hours for Local 53 members
When all the work is done, Insulators working on this project will have logged more than 30,000 hours at the Superdome, a reflection of the scale and complexity of the project. Not only have thousands of hours been worked, but thousands of feet of material have been installed.
Alltemps workers have combined to install roughly10,000 feet of chilled water piping wrap, 7,000 feet of hot water line wrap, 700 feet of condensate lines, 1,000 feet of domestic water wrap, 200 feet of storm drains and 200feet of duct wrap.
Similarly, CSI has installed 60,000 linear feet of plumbing piping, 45,000 linear feet of HVAC piping,120,000 square feet of duct wrap and 34,000 square feet of fire wrap.
These figures highlight the extensive efforts to upgrade the Superdome’s mechanical systems and ensure a state-of-the-art facility for future events.
Leaders of Insulators Local 53 take immense pride in the dedication and hard work demonstrated by its members throughout the project. The long hours and weekend shifts worked by the Local 53 Brothers and Sisters showcase their determination to meet the demanding renovation schedule.
"I thank the hard-working men and women of Local53 for all their efforts in helping bring the job in on time for our signatory contractors,” said Local 53 Business Manager Kris Comeaux. “Local 53 and its members are just as proud to be a part of preparing the Superdome for the 2025 Superbowl, as we were in the early 1970s when we helped build it.”
Comeaux noted the professionalism and attention to detail exhibited by the Brothers and Sisters of Local 53 have contributed to the project’s success.
As the renovation project progresses, the Caesars Superdome is set to emerge as an even more iconic and technologically advanced venue, thanks in part to Local53 members. The collaborative efforts of everyone who has and is working on this project will ensure that the Superdome will host major events for years to come.