By Seth Daniel
The Ironworkers Local 7 and Wynn Boston Harbor combined to hold a steel topping off ceremony on Thursday, Nov. 2, as the project moves from the steel structure of the lower levels and the parking garage to a unique, concrete based tower structure.
While the tower will be made of cast concrete and not steel, the structural steel portion of the project is still significant, said Peter Campot, director of construction for Wynn.
“Today, we have 2.5 million sq. ft. of structure, 1.5 million sq. ft. of concrete, a 3,000-car garage, and 1 million square feet of structural steel in place,” he said, as more than 1,000 construction workers feasted on a steak tip lunch from Newbridge Café in Chelsea. “This is amazing. The work you have done is amazing. Remember, 15 months ago this was a contaminated field.”
The moment was also a milestone marker for the project, as 1,000 construction workers are now on site working around the clock in several shifts. That number is expected to ramp up to 1,800 workers by the spring.
Chris Gordon, president of Wynn Massachusetts Design and Development, said the building is unique to Boston in that the bones will be made of concrete and not structural steel. That explained the reason for a topping off ceremony long before the tower had reached its maximum height.
“It will be cast in place concrete for the tower,” he said. “It helps a lot with floor to floor heights. We have a height restriction because of the airport and so we can get more floors in a smaller space. The steel is a bit deeper and doesn’t allow for that. It’s also good with vibration and gives you a nice, quiet space, which is what you want in a hotel. Most buildings here are steel structures, so this is a little unique.”
He said they decided early on in the design to go with concrete over steel for the tower. The costs are about the same, but the process takes slightly longer, he said.
He said it should take 15 weeks to pour the concrete to the top of the building. Already, the Wynn Bronze glass panels are being delivered to the site, having been individually crafted in Germany.
“They are prepping to put it on now and all of it is being delivered,” he said. “It will start go up some time in the next week.”
Mayor Carlo DeMaria was emotional in addressing the crowd, noting that seeing Everett residents on the job was something he had dreamt of for so long.
“You’re building a catalyst for the City of Everett,” he said. “For every one job they create, that’s two more jobs produced. I’m excited to see what is happening. I can’t tell you how exciting it is for me to see Everett residents on the project. I tell you, it makes me very emotional. I mean that wholeheartedly…A little over a year ago, nothing was here. It’s amazing to see how much you accomplished in that time.”
Everett resident Bobby Dickinson has been on the project since March with Local 7 and Marr Construction as a Plumb Up Foreman. He said Wynn and Suffolk have put their money where their mouths are. He said they have hired as many Everett and Charlestown residents as they possibly could.
“They put everyone on the project they could; in fact, there weren’t enough,” he said. “This is doing wonders for the city. They’ve bought all the property across the street. They are putting more money into the city and putting more money into our pockets. I’m proud to work on this project.”