Sierra Pacific supplies wood for Inauguration platform

When President Barack Obama takes his new oath of office in January, he will be standing proudly on a platform made of lumber produced here in Aberdeen at the Sierra Pacific Industries mill.

The boards used to build the platform will be from Douglas Fir “select” grade, which Sierra Pacific spokeswoman Sheri Nelson said is the strongest framing lumber.

The boards were produced out of the Aberdeen and Burlington sawmills and shipped to a supplier. About 200,000 board feet of of Sierra Pacific lumber was used to build the platform, which equates to the same amount of lumber to build about 13 average-size homes.

“SPI is the largest producer of these types of long/wide boards in the US, which explains why the supplier back East continues to make purchases of our Washington lumber – quality counts,” Nelson said.

This is the fourth consecutive presidential inauguration in which the platform will be built using Sierra Pacific lumber.

Much of the platform is made of 2-by-4s, but there also are wider 2-by-12 and 2-by-16 planks being used, according to Sierra Pacific spokesman Mark Pawlicki. The planks are up to 26 feet long.

The boards came from Grasmick Lumber of Baltimore. Grasmick bought the planks from Sherwood Lumber of Islandia, N.Y., one of Sierra Pacific’s largest distribution customers in the market.

Pawlicki calls the inaugural platform a “bipartisan effort.”

Sierra Pacific is the second largest timber producer in the United States, with sawmills in California and Washington.

The Inauguration is on Jan. 21 in front of the U.S. Capitol.

According to the official Inauguration website, the platform will be more than 10,000 square feet, and is the same size as the platform used for the 2005 inaugural, which was the largest platform ever built for an inauguration.

On Inauguration Day it will hold more than 1,600 people including: The President and Vice-President-elects and their families; members of U.S. Senate and House of Representatives; Cabinet members and nominees; Justices of the Supreme Court; the outgoing President and Vice President, former presidents, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, governors and the diplomatic corps.

To see slides of the platform under construction online, visit: