The Winter Olympics begins this week in scenic Salt Lake City, UT. Yes, already. The opening ceremony takes place Friday, Feb. 8. We’re not sure if any of the 140-plus employees at CCI Mechanical Inc., based in Salt Lake City, will be able to attend the gala event. Most, however, hope all runs smoothly for the three-week Olympic schedule.

“I intend on enjoying the Games,” said CCI’s Jerry Pace, who is in contract sales. “If I could see anything, I’d like to see the bobsled event.”

CCI, one of the largest mechanical engineering, construction, and service organizations in the state of Utah, has been extensively involved in preparation for support services for the 2002 Winter Games. Preparation included mechanical engineering and construction of specific venue sites, and refurbishing of older buildings to be used as temporary support facilities for media and athletes.

“We are proud to have been involved,” said Pace.

CCI, a privately held, employee-owned company since 1961, was heavily involved in the construction of the Delta Center, a fast-track, design-build project completed 10 years ago. CCI met the mechanical requirements for this 20,500-seating-capacity arena with three 600-ton chillers; four custom-built, 75,000-cfm air handlers; 32 air-handling systems; and eight return/relief fans.

“It was a great experience,” recalled Jeff Tack, the CCI project manager who worked closely with Pat Lynch on the design side while building the NBA arena and future Olympic venue in a record 16 months.


CCI also had a hand in remodeling one of the tallest buildings in Salt Lake City, the 25-story Wells Fargo Tower. It was remodeled to accommodate 1,300 people occupying 10 floors, consisting of the Salt Lake Organization Committee, the committee responsible for bringing the Games to Utah. The mechanical requirements for this building were met with three chillers, providing 1,700 tons of cooling; three boilers, providing 21 million Btu of heat; and 41 air-handling units, serving 770 vav boxes.

“The shear magnitude of the mechanical components of this building was a challenge that I remember every day,” stated Tack.

Media covering the events at the Salt Lake Ice Center will be housed in a refurbished auto parts warehouse. This 20,000-sq-ft building had rooftop units, furnaces, and unit heaters repaired and refurbished by CCI.

CCI has also partnered with a local United Rentals office to run gas piping to several temporary gas heaters in service at various venues, and is committed to maintaining these units during the Games.

Media commentators, judging crews, and athletes can take shelter in trailers set up at the Deer Valley, Soldier Hollow, Park City, and Olympic Park venues. All trailers have been set with water/ fire lines, and waste/vent lines. Selected trailers are equipped with domestic water and plumbing. More than 100 trailers are spread out between the four venues.


Support and logistical planning for the actual Games required extensive time and effort. Twenty of the contractor’s people have gone through the Olympic security process to provide service support during the Games.

Four CCI service technicians, experienced in the mechanical components of the Salt Lake Ice Center, will be available at a moment’s notice should a chiller go down (heaven forbid), or for any other hvacr-related repair.

Getting clearance from Olympic security was the hardest part, said Pace. “Service support has required us to qualify selected technicians against FBI background checks and prepare them to be available 24 hours a day during the Olympic schedule,” he said. “That’s pressure, but we’re up to it.”

The four CCI techs — Steve Tronier, Rich Sodders, Greg Porter, and Todd Nelson — will get a bird’s eye view, as they will be allowed access to Olympic venues and other buildings within the 15-block area that will be closed to normal traffic.

A variety of businesses, which happen to have locations in and around Olympic venues, are establishing their own type of security measures; CCI Mechanical has made efforts to conform to those, said Pace. An investment of time has been made by attending information meetings held by the Salt Lake Organizing Committee and the Utah Department of Transportation. “Through these meetings, we learned that rescheduling our service calls to the hours of 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. would greatly reduce the likelihood of becoming stranded in downtown Salt Lake traffic,” said Pace.

Not that Pace has any intentions of sprinting out to see the skating events. “It puts me to sleep,” he confessed.

Skaer is editor-in-chief. He can be reached at 248-244-6446; 248-362-0317 (fax); (e-mail).

Publication date: 02/04/2002