Pentagon Project- Intro
When the Pentagon was severely damaged in the attacks of September 11, 2001, authorities called on Northern Virginia Roofing to respond. Our team was on the scene quickly to help assess the damage and make temporary repairs to secure the integrity of the damaged section of the building. Later, we were proud to be selected to install a new roof on the restored section of the building.
We are extremely fortunate to live and work and raise our family in the United States. Everybody at Northern Virginia Roofing is proud to have played a small role in helping our military services recover from the devastating attacks of September 11.
A National Symbol Attacked, a National Effort Begun.
When American Airlines Flight 77 was deliberately crashed into the Pentagon during the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, killing 125 people, damage to the building was extensive. So was the damage to the pride and spirit of the entire country.
In searching for ways to respond to these malicious attacks, John and Kimberly Francis, owners of Northern Virginia Roofing in nearby Falls Church, VA, decided to do what Americans have always done when faced with adversity: rebuild, and emerge stronger than before.
As professional roofers, John and Kimberly knew they had an opportunity to contribute to the rebuilding process directly. The Francis family and their Northern Virginia Roofing team proposed to restore the damaged section of Pentagon roof as a gift to the country. Rallying their fellow roofing professionals through the National Roofing Contractors Association, they brought their proposal to Pentagon officials, who quickly accepted.
What began as an instinctive response from the owners of a small business grew into a nationwide outpouring of support.
Amazingly, the rebuilding of the 40,00 square feet of slate roofing damaged in the September 11 attack began in October, 2001.
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Pentagon officials were instrumental in granting access to the site and fast tracking the rebuilding process, and the lead contractor on the project, James Myers Co. of Beltsville, MD, had worked on the Pentagon’s roof in the past.
Despite challenges in organizing volunteer workers (including obtaining security clearances for all who worked on site), the project was completed rapidly. On June 25, 2002 an outdoor ceremony was held to commemorate the completion of the rebuilding process.
NRCA members had donated more than $125,000 dollars towards rebuilding the Pentagon, and the NRCA, was even able to make a $10,000 donation to the Pentagon Memorial Fund at the ceremony.
What began as John and Kimberly Francis’ earnest and heartfelt response to a terrible tragedy evolved into an overwhelming outpouring of support and pride from the roofing industry. Today the Pentagon roof, like the country, has been rebuilt, restored and is stronger than ever.
Northern Virginia Roofing was not prepared to tackle a job that required replacing 40,000 square feet of roofing by itself. John and Kimberly Francis, working with the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA), identified roofing material manufacturers and roofing contractors across the country that would be willing to help. The industry’s response was heartening.
- Protective Roofing Products Ltd., a Canadian family-owned guardrail manufacturer, offered a $20,000 discount on the guardrails for the job and flew staff to Washington, D.C., to make sure the guardrails were installed properly.
- The Home Depot responded by donating all the lumber for the sheathing—a value approaching $100,000.
- Warrior Roofing Manufacturing Inc., Tuscaloosa, Ala., donated the underlayment.
- Evergreen Slate Co. LLC, Granville, N.Y., offered a significant discount on all the slate.
- The Copper Development Association arranged for a substantial amount of copper sheet to be provided.
- Follansbee Steel, Follansbee, W. Va., agreed to donate the terne-coated stainless steel.
- W.R. Grace & Co., Cambridge, Mass., donated the Ice and Water Shield and sent employees to the job site to help with installation problems.
Many other domestic material manufacturers and contractors either donated their products and labor or provided deep discounts. NRCA members stepped up to volunteer their labor, especially for carpentry and slate work. Volunteers came pouring in from across the country and around the world. Many members of NRCA who could not spare laborers made financial contributions.
House Press Release
In January, with the Pentagon roofing project well underway, the U.S. House of Representatives recognized Northern Virginia Roofing’s efforts in getting the project started and contributing to the reconstruction work. Below is the excerpt text of a press statement from the House Committee on Small Business. Read the original House Hearing here
U.S. House of Representatives – Committee on Small Business
PRESS RELEASE – JANUARY 7, 2002
Volunteers Put New Roof on Pentagon
Small Business Committee praises roofing contractors’ contribution to rebuilding
WASHINGTON — Chairman Don Manzullo (R-Ill.) and Ranking Democrat Nydia M. Velázquez (D-N.Y.) of the House Small Business Committee today praised the volunteer donations of labor, funds, and supplies by small roofing contracting companies — totaling almost a half a million dollars — which are being used to rebuild over an acre of the Pentagon’s roof system damaged in the September 11 terrorist attacks.
Structural damage to the Pentagon caused by the crash of American Airlines Flight 77 was so severe it is likely that parts of three wings will need to be rebuilt. In addition, the fire caused by thousands of gallons of jet fuel destroyed over 40,000 sq.ft. of slate roofing, which now needs to be replaced.
U.S. roofing contractors, nearly all of which are small or family-owned businesses, responded by volunteering their labor and materials to rebuild the roof system over the Pentagon. The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) negotiated an agreement with the Department of Defense to rebuild the Pentagon’s roof system, and has raised nearly $400,000 in cash and supplies of the estimated $500,000 needed to complete the job. James Myers Company, Inc. of Beltsville, Md., a specialist in slate roofing, is the lead contracting company on the project and has been at work since mid-November.
“Everyone wants to participate in something useful during this national challenge,” said Ranking Democrat Nydia M. Velázquez. “Some people donated to charities or gave blood. Now small businesses are volunteering their workers and supplies on one of the biggest contracting jobs ever — to replace over an acre of slate on the largest office building in the world. I’m sure every American can be proud of that.”
“I applaud the response of the small business community to help in the national recovery effort,” said Chairman Donald Manzullo. “The many small, family-owned enterprises that comprise American roofing contractors are contributing in a most beneficial way through their donations of workers and materials to rebuild a portion of the Pentagon’s roof. This spirit of volunteerism is reflective of the American character to pull together in times of crisis. All Americans can take pride in how we are overcoming the current challenge.”
The idea originated with Northern Virginia Roofing, a contracting company owned by a husband and wife team based in Falls Church, Va. They approached NRCA in the first week after September 11, wanting somehow to contribute to the recovery effort. Finally, they hit on the idea to “give the Pentagon a new roof.” NRCA then made a proposal to the Defense Department, which soon accepted.
“We are very happy our members can participate in this important project, and we appreciate the Pentagon’s willingness to let us move forward,” said Bill Good, NRCA Executive Vice President. Good has spent months coordinating efforts on the Pentagon Project, which is scheduled for completion sometime in March 2002.
NRCA is an association of roofing, roof deck and waterproofing contractors. Founded in 1886, it now has nearly 5,000 members and estimates that NRCA contractors perform more than 60 percent of all roof system installations in the United States. More than 90 percent of roofing contracting firms are considered small businesses; many are family-run where family members work side by side to make their companies successful. NRCA contractors are privately held companies, and the average member employs 35 people during peak season with sales of approximately $3.5 million per year.
On June 25, 2002, members of Congress joined representatives from the National Roofing Contractors Association in a ceremony to recognize the completion of NRCA’s project to restore portions of the roof of the Pentagon, which were damaged in the September 11 terrorist attacks. The volunteer donations of labor, funds, and supplies totaled almost half a million dollars, which enabled the repair of 60,000 square feet of the Pentagon’s slate roof system. The idea to restore the roof system originated with Kimberly and John Francis, owners of Northern Virginia Roofing, who approached the NRCA about finding a way to contribute to the recovery effort.
“NRCA’s Pentagon project demonstrated to the world that in America’s time of need, small businesses can step up to the plate and deliver,” said Rep. Don Manzullo (R-IL).
The House of Representatives adopted a resolution, sponsored by Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-NY), who attended the ceremony, to show its gratitude to the roofing professionals who volunteered to help with the project for their hard work and personal sacrifice. Velazquez presented copies of the resolution to the Francis family and the James Myers Company, the lead contractor on the project. Others who contributed time and materials to the rebuilding efforts received certificates.
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