In this edition of IBEW Hour Power, we head to Flushing, New York to learn about the IBEW project working on the Arthur Ashe Stadium, a part of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. IBEW Local 3 is a big part of the renovations and projects that go on at the stadium every year. This time around, L.U. 3 is building a retractable roof for the Arthur Ashe Stadium.
The rising sun over Billie Jean National, Arthur Ashe Stadium can be seem for miles, getting people hyped for what’s to come.
Daniel Zausner, Chief Operating Officer, National Tennis Center – “It’s been pretty amazing we have two rather large cranes outside Arthur Ashe Stadium right now and soon to have a third one and we hear from people all the time they see them and get excited to see a roof since we have seen so many rain delays over the last 10 years so they are ready to get some closure over it.”
This stadium is the main venue for the U.S. Open and many greats have played here. Many tournaments have also been cancelled due to weather. Inside this stadium, a retractable roof is coming together where players can compete come rain, snow, or shine.
Strength and power are two key components to winning a championship and for the USTA the members of IBEW local 3 are bringing those elements to complete the renovation.
The roof is scheduled to be done just in time for the 2016 U.S. Open, but the roof is only a part of the USTA’s $550 million renovation plan. The new grandstand stadium is also set to debut in two years with 8,000 seats. And in the final year of renovations, the new Louis Armstrong Stadium with 15,000 seats. With a huge project like this, it’s no wonder the IBEW has been called in.
Chris Marchisotto, General Foreman, USTA – “The knowledge of the employees of local 3, they know what it takes to get it done. The proper coordination to meet the schedules. That’s how it happens, we work together as a company as an organization.“
Daniel Zausner, Chief Operating Officer, National Tennis Center – “Local 3 is very important when it comes to the work that goes on here every single year. We play day and night matches here, our broadcast partners rely on the liability of the work that they’re doing and we need to have lights on all the courts. We need to have power at every single location. Over the last couple years and through the next 5 years, we are going to be doing construction that goes down until the last couple of days before the tournament and we rely on the men and women from local 3 to make sure we finish these games on time before the players and the fans show up for the tournament.”
Joe Magel – Shop Steward Local 3 IBEW – “It’s going to be a challenging project due to the height of the cat walks of the stadium. But, ASR has been on top of it. They have been loading up the catwalks with materials and we are pretty much working along schedule as the cat walks go up mounting the LED lighting.”
Armando Aponte, ASR Electrical Contracting, Superintendent – “The weather, as you can see is really helping us out which has hampered the schedule in getting the trusses onto the super structure for the roof. This is the first phase that we get the trusses on and this is what the roof will roll open and closed on.”
Thomas Cory, Local 3 electrician – “It’s been great but the weather has been tough, it’s been a rough winter.”
Chris Marchisotto, General Foreman, USDA – “The biggest challenge is our schedule. We have to make the open HAPPEN at the time it starts.”
This is what players and fans will see when they come to the U.S. Open. And thanks to IBEW Local 3, no matter the weather, the show will go on.