By Chelsea Lindquist, Communications Specialist, Bates Technical College
TACOMA – Apprentices from Ironworkers Local 86, located at Bates Technical College, have incorporated something historic into their education. They have carefully created an upright monument out of two twisted steel beams from the wreckage of the World Trade Center 9/11 attack. The beams will be placed at the Kitsap 9/11 Memorial at Evergreen Rotary Park in Bremerton.
The apprentices fabricated and welded two 30-inch, 900-pound steel base plates to the end of each 4,000 pound-beam, which will resemble an arch that will measure 28 feet at its highest point when set in the park’s grounds.
Apprentice Kaz Kraynak, who has been working on the SR 520 pontoons in Tacoma, said he felt privileged to help build the memorial. “I was able to create something good from the tragedy.”
The apprentices then erected the two columns in a structural mock-up and positioned them so the memorial’s architect could review and confirm that the specifications were accurate.
As part of the process, a clear acrylic protective coating was painted onto the beams to prevent rusting. The paint gives the steel columns a glossy appearance, according to Ironworker Apprenticeship Instructor Bill Nutter.
People can still view the original markings and paint, and the different textures and the asphalt from their original placement in the World Trade Center buildings in New York, said Nutter, who estimated the cost of the donated steel base plates at $900.
The beams and a cornice from the Pentagon will travel from the college’s South Campus at 2201 S. 78th Street in Tacoma, to a secure facility in Silverdale on Monday, May 20, where they will remain until the grounds at the memorial are ready to receive the beams, which is estimated to occur in fall.