Two years ago, Dallas Cooley walked past the construction of the One World Trade Center Tower while visiting New York City.
As vice president of sales for Georgia Powder Coating, based in Gainesville, he took an interest in the business behind the historic construction.
“I had a thought, ‘Somebody is doing work and deals and business on buildings like that,’” Cooley said. “It was just a thought. ... Two years later I’m in my office and an existing customer calls me, and he says ‘I’m working on this really cool project.’”
The customer, a metal products company based in Kennesaw, was involved in providing metal guards for the construction of the atrium inside the 104-floor high-rise. The building stands at a symbolic 1,776 feet, 49 feet taller than the original twin towers, according to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
The metal guards were to be placed in front of the building’s heating and air conditioning vents to prevent birds from getting swept into the systems.
Georgia Powder Coating, which specializes in powder-coated, electrostatic painting, coated approximately 600 of the specially designed panels. Powder coating has a higher resistance to impact, moisture, chemicals, sunlight, climate and other extreme weather conditions that can diminish paint quality.
The project was not unlike others the company works on daily, but the historic significance of being part of the construction of World Trade Center Tower One, which will be the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, has created pride, Cooley said.
“It’s an honor,” Cooley said. “We were all very proud to be a part of it. Everyone that is aware of 9/11 is keenly aware of the significance of the building and what it represents. We were all honored to be a part. I don’t think it will fully sink in until we visit the site.”
The building is designed to be the safest in the world and provides 3 million square feet of office space on 71 office floors, a public lobby and an observation deck.
Three additional towers will be built around the site of the original buildings, which is now the site of an 8-acre memorial and museum honoring the 3,000 people who were killed in the 1993 and 2001 terrorist attacks. The museum is set to open in 2014.
Georgia Powder Coating opened in 1999 in the back of a poultry-processing warehouse with just two employees. Georgia Powder Coating now employs more than 40 professionals and operates out of a 30,000-square-foot facility on Zander Drive in Gainesville.
The company has also provided services for the Georgia Dome, the Georgia Aquarium and Harley-Davidson motorcycles.