You can shake down the thunder from the sky, but Notre Dame football will be safely enclosed in a new indoor practice facility starting next season thanks in part to Hammond-based contractor Korellis Roofing.
Korellis Roofing has been helping build a massive state-of-the-art indoor football practice facility for the undefeated 12-0 Notre Dame Fighting Irish, who will compete for a national title after earning a berth in the College Football Playoffs. The 111,400-square-foot, three-acre Irish Indoor Athletics Center is covering an existing practice field on the University of Notre Dame campus. The project is scheduled to be completed in July 2019.
The practice facility roof requires a steep pitch, with a five-inch rise for 12 horizontal inches on a run of 110 feet from valley to peak.
“We had to be creative in getting material from the valley to the peak of the roof,” Korellis foreman Brian Whitaker said. “Our team designed and engineered a hydraulic cabling system to pull up the large material carts right to the area of the daily installation.”
Over the years, Korellis Roofing has worked on a number of projects at college campuses, including Purdue University Northwest, Indiana University Northwest, Valparaiso University and the main Purdue campus in West Lafayette. In recent years, it has done a number of projects at Notre Dame in South Bend, including roofs on the Fischer Graduate Residence Housing, buildings on William J. Burke Memorial Golf Course, the Notre Dame Wellness Center, the Kenmore Warehouse and the Early Childhood Development Center.
The commercial and industrial contractor started on the roofing part of the practice facility after football practice started this season. Korellis accommodated the team by staging materials and equipment on the north and south ends, requiring them to be moved an additional 200 feet before they were lifted up the 110-foot run of the roof.
“We had to find sophisticated ways to handle the hardship of moving materials," Vice President of Roofing Operations John Ziolkowski said. "We do our best to help lessen the physical burden on the bodies of our team. The manual labor, the number of steps, the steepness of the roof — that’s all tough enough on them.”
Notre Dame's undefeated season has made the massive project even more thrilling.
“It’s an honor to work on this project, because we were able to see an elite team practice every day,” Whitaker said. “There was definitely a buzz in the air on campus.”
Korellis Roofing, which started as a residential roofing company in Hammond in 1960, is no stranger to high-profile projects.
“Knowing we accomplished a job with so many challenges is extremely rewarding,” Whitaker said. “This massive building is one that people will see for a long time. There is a sense of pride knowing that Korellis Roofing installed the roof over a field where so many future Notre Dame football players will be working hard for a national championship.”