Wally Scoggins, president of Brazos Urethane, Baton Rouge, La., offered a dynamic presentation on the deck and roof replacement of the Louisiana Superdome following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.
Scoggins offered an abundance of photos documenting the project from its inception to its conclusion and let contractors at the Best of Success Conference ask questions about one of the largest reroofing projects in Louisiana history. “A $32 million job - scared me to death,” Scoggins said.
Initial photos of the Superdome revealed what most people had seen on the news: the Superdome’s roof and gutter system ravaged by the hurricane. “This is about Hurricane Katrina,” Scoggins told contractors.
Scoggins talked about the difficulty removing the damaged portions of the existing membrane as the starting point of the reroofing project. He talked about the difficulties in getting equipment on the roof and how safety factors had to be consistent throughout the project. Scoggins told attendees his contract called for him to receive a bonus if he finished the original scope of the project in 45 days, but safety could never be compromised.
“There were safety issues everywhere,” Scoggins said. “Guys working everywhere for 104 days in a row.” OSHA visited the site on eight occasions during the project. “We had some safety issues,” said Scoggins, who noted two citations were issued for workers being hooked up incorrectly to their fall arrest equipment. Scoggins said only one injury occurred during the project (a saw cut). “OSHA was very helpful,” he said.
Scoggins said 120,000 pounds of spray polyurethane foam was used on the roof, and he noted it took 30 workers to complete the foam phase of the project. Overall, 150 workers were used at the peak of the project. Scoggins reminisced about weed whackers being used to rip away old rubber and using eight roofing hoists to transport supplies and equipment. He said the project became a “communications nightmare,” but his company completed the work ahead of schedule.
The deck and roof replacement project was completed between March 13 and July 18, 2006. “I don’t know how we did it, but we did,” Scoggins said. “I thought it would take 10 months. It took five.”
And though $32,479,00 sounds like a lot of money, Scoggins said, his profit margins on the project were in the normal range. “We paid $1 million for four months of builders risk insurance,” he said. Scoggins received a $750,000 bonus for getting the work done ahead of schedule. “We feel like we saved the dome,” said Scoggins, who believes the NFL’s New Orleans Saints would have moved if the Superdome could not be repaired. “We had a great plan, a great team, and great weather to work in,” he said. “I’ve always been a Saints fan. I’m happy we were able to do it.”