[This story was originally published by the Electrical Alliance, a cooperative effort between electrical contractors of the Washington, D.C. Chapter, NECA and skilled craftsmen of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 26. Visit www.electricalalliance.org for more information.]
Preparation for the 57th Presidential Inauguration on 2013 began almost immediately after the 2012 election concluded – and for the 11th consecutive time, NECA contractor, Heller Electric, was charged with powering several key structures for the event, including the Presidential Reviewing Stand, Media Stand and the Mayoral Parade Reviewing Stand.
Work on the three separate structures began the week before Thanksgiving and was on a strict completion deadline of Jan. 7 to allow the Secret Service adequate time for inspection. Owing to the need for fingerprinting and background checks for all inaugural workers, Heller could only have up to 10 people on the job. An average of nine electricians have worked 10-hour days, seven days a week, since the project began.
Heller installed 600 amps in the Presidential Reviewing Stand, where President Obama and his family will watch the parade, for lighting and heating the entire stand and bulletproof enclosure. The three-story Media Stand is powered by 800 amps that supply approximately 192 electric outlets for the worldwide media in attendance to utilize. Finally, Heller completed the heating and lighting work for the Mayoral Parade Stand that will hold the mayor and all Washington, D.C. government and guests.
Michael Ritchey, Heller Electric’s president said, “It is a bit challenging because of the definitive end and start date, ordering of custom materials, and allotment of only ten people to work on the project because of security, but our team thrives on fast-paced jobs, and we feel honored to work on such a prestigious job.”
With the inauguration, the electric work doesn’t end on the finish date. Four Heller Electric workers will man each structure and the materials trailer on the day of the ceremony to ensure all operations run smoothly.
“The Inaugural Stands have been a huge part of our history since 1973, when we were selected to light President Nixon’s second term inauguration. Each inaugural project brings us not only new challenges, but stories and a tremendous sense of pride among all of our employees who work tirelessly to complete the projects on time. We look forward to the opportunity every four years and proudly celebrate our ability to participate in such a historical event,” said Heller’s Executive Vice President Brian J. Heller.