Convention Center to Begin Roof Replacement Project
NEW ORLEANS — On Jan. 25, the Ernest N. Morial New Orleans Exhibition Hall Authority authorized nearly $37 million in funding for the repair and replacement of the 41-acre Convention Center roof. This allows work to move forward on the first major improvement of the physical building itself under the approved $557 million capital improvement plan. The roof replacement is the first major element of work under the Construction Manager at Risk process.
“This is a major milestone for the Convention Center and for the future of our facility,” said Michael J. Sawaya, the facility’s president. “Replacing the roof is a critical first step towards upgrading our building and enhancing the experience we offer our clients, exhibitors and guests. We are glad to be moving the process forward on schedule.”
With the action, the authority brought forward the negotiated guaranteed maximum price for the roof project, amending the CMAR contract. Construction is anticipated to begin as early as March of this year, and to be completed in approximately 12-14 months.
The oldest section of the roof is nearly 40 years old, and the newest dates back to 1999. No sections have been replaced to date.
The Convention Center roof measures over 1.9 million square feet, making it one of the largest roofs in the city. It diverts more than 90% of rainwater that falls on it directly into the Mississippi River, reducing strain on New Orleans’ drainage system. The new roof system is designed to better reflect heat, and added insulation will contribute to increased energy savings — both of which are goals in keeping with the Convention Center’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification status.