Path Home Shows 2008 Show Archive November 2008 Show 0847 Boone Pickens Stadium

Boone Pickens Stadium

During the annual bedlam match between OSU and OU, all eyes will be trainined on the field at Boone Pickens Stadium, but a look around the stadium will reveal another team has been hard at work.
Boone Pickens Stadium

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Boone Pickens Stadium

Show Dates

Show 0847: Boone Pickens Stadium

Air date: November 23, 2008

 

Transcript

Rob:  Well after Oklahomans gather around their turkeys this Thanksgiving, another, more spirited tradition does take place.  Bedlam; the one weekend when houses become divided as the Oklahoma Sooners and the Oklahoma State Cowboys meet this year for their 103rd football showdown.  And while all eyes will be trained on the field, a look around Boone Pickens Stadium will show another team has been hard at work.  Joining me now from high atop the stadium is our Russ Jowell.

Russ:  Glenn Perea’s career has been on the rise recently.

Glenn Perea:  The red pipe is for fire life safety, that way we know what’s in it.  It’s identifiable.

Russ:  Glenn is just one of a small army of workers who have descended on to Boone Pickens Stadium, working to give its west end zone area an extreme makeover.

Jim Heley:  You could take a Super Walmart store and put it in the basement of this project.

Russ:  At the helm of the project is manager Jim Heley, who says renovating the west end zone area is quite literally, a monumental task.

Heley:  30,000 yards of concrete in the basement and foundation itself; another 5,000 yards of concrete in the truck ramp; 3,500 tons of rebar went into it.

Russ:  And that’s not counting the horde of workers who make it all happen.

Heley:  We’ve orientated 2,027 people on this project so far as of today.  So a lot of people have come through; a lot of tradesmen have come through here.

Brad Fisbeck:  I am the pipe fitting foreman.

Mike O’Hara:  I am the sheet metal foreman.

Marty Mutz:  I’m the plumbing foreman.

Michael Young:  I’m a journeyman.

Heley:  We’ve got 55 electricians working out here.  We have 60 or 65 drywall framers and workers out here. They’re all on their own schedules that they need to maintain, and it needs to fit in with the overall schedule of the project.  And we need to make sure we have the right people here at the right time to get the job done.

Michael Young:  Anytime we’re on these scissor lifts, we’ve got to wear a full body harness and strapped off and chained off.

Russ:  And part of getting that job done is tackling the many problems that come with such a massive project.

Mike O’Hara:  It just there’s more plumbing on this project than anything I’ve ever seen in my twenty plus years of plumbing work.  And I’m sure as far as our company goes, it’s got to be one of the bigger jobs that we’ve ever done.

O’Hara:  On plumbing, you know, you run into a lot of places; you know stuff will only go downhill on a drain line.  So you’ve got to know numbers.  You’ve got to know your flow rates.  There’s a lot of math involved.

Let me get mine first.

Okay.  That’s way long.

Huh.

That’s way long.

Ted O’Donnell:  The piece is long, two and a quarter inches too long, so we have to re-cut it.

Marty Mutz:  Oh on a project this big, there are always roadblocks.  The biggest thing on this job is coordination.

Russ:  Metalworker Marty Mutz says that the biggest challenge in the west end zone project is orchestrating the vast number of different trades on site, and making sure they all work in harmony with one another.

Mutz:  If you don’t coordinate with the other trades, the other crafts, it’s not going to happen. You’re going to hit a roadblock every day when you show up for work.  So it’s a lot of coordination ahead of time, knowing that you’re going to be, say in sector C while, you’re still in sector A; let’s get the kinks worked out in sector C before we get there.

Russ:  But much to the joy of the crew here, one thing they will never have to coordinate is outsourced labor.

Heley:  Construction trades work is something that is never going to be shipped overseas.  If a guy has a job as a carpenter, or an ironworker, or an electrician, you can’t send that project overseas and have them put the wiring in the project, and ship it back to us.  I mean this has got to be done on site.  It’s got to be done by skilled tradesmen.  It’s got to be done by hand and in the location where it’s being put together.  There’s certainly a pride in the work when you talk to the architects, or you talk to the subcontractors, or the tradesmen, or my office and everyone has, walks in there and says we built this project, and there’s a lot of pride in what they say, a lot of pride in having some ownership in that project, and everyone wants to say that.  And it’s great.  I mean there’s literally thousands and thousands of people involved in this project who can walk by this thing and show their family and say, I built that project.

Russ:  And that same sense of pride is shared amongst all the workers here, most of whom are proud to just leave their mark on an Oklahoma icon.

Rob:  Well Russ, it sure looks like it’s a pretty massive undertaking.  By the numbers, how big of a project are we actually talking about?

Russ:  Well, we’re talking about over 600,000 square feet of finished space, once it’s all said and done.  There’s over a million pounds of steel for the duct work alone, and enough pipe to reach from Stillwater to I-35.

Rob:  So how many different trades does it take to make something like this actually happen?

Russ:  Well, there’s pretty much the entire spectrum of construction trades out here.  We’ve got plumbers, carpenters, masons, sheetrock workers.  There are people here from Texas, Kansas, and as far away as Oregon.

Rob:  Now I'm sure the question on everyone's mind is when is everything going to be ready?

Russ:  Well they hope to have it ready in July of 2009, just in time for next year’s football season.