Topping off ceremony keeps Q Transformation Project on schedule

Quicken Loans Arena Topping Off Ceremony

On Jan. 16, a ceremonial topping off ceremony was held to commemorate the last piece of structural steel installed on the project to modernize the 25-year old publicly-owned Quicken Loans Arena.

“This topping off is a great milestone for this important project. Our investment in ‘The Q’ is an investment in the future of this community,” said Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish during the ceremony. “’The Q’ is one of the key economic drivers of our county, bringing millions of

Affiliated members of the Cleveland Building Trades install the outside glass facade during Phase II work of “The Q” Transformation Project. Photo Courtesy: Cleveland Cavaliers.

fans to hundreds of events. These are people who then spend money in our restaurants and bars and in our shops. Add to that the almost 1,500 construction jobs that have been created by this transformation and this is a project we can all be proud of.”

According to a statement on the project’s website, as of December 2018, the project has created 1,457 jobs for building trades members who represent 24 different Local unions. Collectively, the highly skilled and highly trained members of the Cleveland Building and Construction Trades Council have clocked 173,868 hours on the jobsite.

With a tight timeline to complete the entire project before the beginning of the 2019-2020 Cleveland Cavaliers season, it was vital to get the final piece of structural steel in place and keep the project on schedule.

Cleveland Building Trades Iron Workers Local 17

Members of Iron Workers Local 17 work on the exterior of Quicken Loans Arena for “The Q” Transformation project. Photo Courtesy: Cleveland Cavaliers.

The steel work is part of the second phase of renovations. Work on Phase I finished on time in October, allowing the arena to reopen for a Justin Timberlake concert. This also marked the start of Phase II, which includes the continued construction of the new street-facing exterior glass facade and north atrium. Exterior work will continue throughout year, while interior work will be limited to certain areas inside the arena until Quicken Loans Arena temporarily closes for the summer. When this takes place, crews will work on both the interior and exterior in order to finish all work prior to the start of the 2019-2020 NBA season.

“In one way it’s symbolic in the fact that it’s how we do business here in Cleveland (on time and on or under budget) when a job is managed properly,” said Cleveland Building and Construction Trades Council Executive Secretary Dave Wondolowski. “Since this is a public project, it’s good to show the taxpayers of Cuyahoga County that we are getting the job done.”

Cleveland Building Trades Quicken Loans Arena

Affiliated members of the Cleveland Building Trades take a break from their work on “The Q” Transformation project to take part in the topping off ceremony. Photo Courtesy: Cleveland Cavaliers.

Not only are the affiliated members of the Cleveland Building Trades staying on schedule with work, but they are helping the project exceed goals by representing the community. During the ceremony, it was announced the project has exceeded all major workforce and diversity goals.
As of December 2018, 54 percent of the construction workforce resided in Cuyahoga County, which tops the project’s County workforce participation goal of 25 percent. Nearly a quarter of the workforce, 24 percent, are Cleveland residents, which exceeds the City hiring goal of 20 percent.

In addition to the workforce, the project is using more minority and female vendors.

The Minority Business Enterprise workforce participation level of 25 percent tops the goal of 16 percent, while the 6 percent Female Business Enterprise workforce participation level exceeds the goal of 5 percent.

According to the Cavaliers, the percentage of total construction contract dollars awarded thus far with minority, female and small business enterprise diversity is 59 percent.

Cleveland Building Trade members

Affiliated members of the Cleveland Building Trades sign the final steel beam, before it is lifted into place. Photo Courtesy: Cleveland Cavaliers.

“We are far exceeding the residency, minority and female hiring goals for the project,” Wondolowski said. “This is another great example of the CBCTC’s commitment to recruitment, and in particular, our recruitment to diversity and inclusion.”

“From the onset, our goal was to ensure that we provided opportunities for a local and diverse group of subcontractors, vendors, tradesmen and women to be a part of this major community project,” said Cavs and Quicken Loans Arena CEO Len Komoroski. “Being able to exceed the project’s goals thus far is part of this milestone celebration today and something all of us can be very proud of.

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