MACLEOD PAPPIDAS | THE DAILY WORLD
Sections of steel destined for Husky Stadium are ready for painting at Brown-Minneapolis Tank in the Satsop Business Park Thursday.
A company at the Satsop Business Park has secured the contract to paint the large seating structures for the new Husky Stadium at the University of Washington.
BMT-Northwest, which has one of the largest steel fabrication plants in the nation. at the Satsop facility, was able to land the contract for the Husky stadium seats from Canron Western Contractors because it also has one of the largest paint and sand-blast booths on the West Coast.
“Now more people are becoming aware of what we can offer in blasting and paintings, in addition to our metal fabrication,” said Rollie Irwin, BMT-Northwest’s vice president of manufacturing.
The facility now employs 55 workers, operating in a building that was originally built to house twin steam turbine generators for the disbanded Washington Public Power Supply System nuclear plants.
The Husky stadium seat sections are each 25 feet wide, 29 feet high and 60 feet long, and the company is contracted to sand blast and prime all the steps and seating structures.
“We’re just mainly doing the painting,” Irwin said. The sections are trucked up to the Fuller Hill site and when the work is done are shipped up to the stadium construction site to be installed in phases. The company also hopes to land a contract for the final painting at the stadium.
“We have our own field paint crews, so we’ll just have to wait that part out and see,” Irwin said.
The sections represent “a lot of iron,” he added, “and we have the room to spread it out, get it in our blast booth, get it painted through our paint booth and then let it dry outside.”
Some of the installation in Seattle already has occurred, and Irwin takes some pride in being part of the project there. The new 70,000-seat stadium will cost about $250 million and is scheduled to be ready for the 2013 football season.
“Every time I go up there, you say to yourself, ‘I painted this,’ and tell all your friends about it,” Irwin said.
BMT-Northwest now has played a key role in two major Seattle projects under way. The company built the steel framework to hold the cement forms used to create the pontoons for the State Route 520 bridge replacement project between Seattle and the Bellevue area.
On the bridge project, the company processed 800 tons of new steel and then modified another 400 pieces of existing heavy steel frames for future phases.
The Satsop location gives BMT-Northwest a central location for business throughout the Interstate-5 corridor from Portland to Seattle and across the West. The company in 2011 built a large intake pipe to be used in the Lake Mead water system in Nevada that supplies Las Vegas.
“I’ve been in a lot of industrial parks, and Satsop is probably the best one I have ever been in as far the facilities they have here, the management of the park and the self-sufficiency of it all,” Irwin said. “It’s been a good location.”
As the vice president of the biggest tenant at the business park, Irwin is keenly interested in the proposed consolidation of the Satsop Public Development Authority with the Port of Grays Harbor, with the Port taking over management and operations for the public agency formed to oversee the park in 1998.
“I think it’s a good thing,” Irwin said. “When we first moved out there, we got thrown out of Olympia because the city was growing around us. We’re steel fabricators – we make noise, and some people don’t like that.”
At Satsop on Fuller Hill, surrounding growth and a little noise is far off in the distance, and Irwin is optimistic the Port-PDA consolidation is not only good for BMT-Northwest but all parties involved in promoting economic development on the Harbor.
“I look forward to it,” he said. “I think the park needs some help, Grays Harbor needs some help, and I think (the Port consolidation) will help both. This is not just an ordinary industrial park, with the history behind the park, what it can do and the things it has available. It’s got so many things it can offer different types of businesses and people.”