(April 16, 2015) - With a connection to the new automated people mover station, outdoor terraces and a massive floor-to-ceiling glass wall, the changes on the east side of the Main Terminal have the potential to be one of the most memorable parts of the historic $943 million Master Plan expansion.
And a local firm is playing a major role in this transformation.
Tampa-based West Tampa Glass is installing all the glass and metal panel cladding on the terminal’s east side – a contract worth more than $2 million.
“Doing a TIA project is like climbing to the top of a mountain,” said West Tampa Glass President Pat Condon. “It’s a moment of accomplishment for the men and women involved in the project and the company as a whole.”
It’s a big and high-profile project that must be completed on a tight deadline, with installation slated to begin this summer.
All in all, the company is installing approximately 500 glass panels, representing roughly 12,000 square-feet.
The design-build team of Skanska USA Building and HOK opted to go with the wall of glass panels as people are drawn to natural light.
The windows aren’t your typical glass windows. Known as SB Z75 Low E glass, these have a steel blue-gray appearance and are designed to transmit a lot of light while not letting through much heat, making them energy efficient. The glass also has a custom dot pattern – known as a frit – in certain areas that will accentuate the exterior appearance and reduce the amount of heat entering the Main Terminal.
“It’s a thrill to imagine millions of people seeing our glazed curtain walls in the architect’s design,” said Condon.
West Tampa Glass is no stranger to doing projects at Tampa International. The company has done several projects at TPA over the years, including the installation of three colorful red skylights on Airside F. They’ve also installed exterior and interior panels on Airside E and the car rental area.
“When we fly in or out of TPA, all of us now talk about the projects we completed,” he said.
Condon says the company does roughly a dozen major projects a year, including hospitals and facilities at the University of South Florida and the University of Florida. Their biggest project to date? In 2008, the company installed the exterior windows and panels for the NASCAR headquarters based in Daytona Beach.
“Basically, we supplied the entire envelope for the building,” he said. “Since then, we have done several projects of that size but it is one of the most recognizable.”
West Tampa Glass has been in business since 1934. Condon bought the company in 1990 and oversaw the transition from residential glass projects to commercial glazing, which is its primary work today. West Tampa Glass employees more than 125 employees and owns five acres of manufacturing located northeast of Ybor City.