- Associated Press - Sunday, October 2, 2016

MIDLAND CITY, Ala. (AP) - Fifteen years ago, Jed Henderson knew that whatever was torn down on 9/11 would be rebuilt, bigger and stronger. What he didn’t know was that his family’s company would be part of the rebuilding.

“This was our generation’s JFK,” 38-year-old Henderson said. “We all remember where we were on 9/11.”

Henderson is the sales manager for E&H; Steel, a local steel company founded by his father and a partner. The company is fabricating the steel for the rebuilding of the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church. The church was destroyed when the World Trade Center’s South Tower collapsed and is being rebuilt as a national shrine. The church will be the final major rebuilding project for Ground Zero.

The St. Nicholas project is different from other projects E&H; Steel typically undertakes, not just in its symbolic meaning, but also in its design and execution. In most building projects, steel is hidden behind concrete and plaster. In this project, the steel will be exposed as part of the visual impact envisioned by its designer. One of the most eye-catching parts of the new design will be a steel dome E&H; Steel is fabricating.

John Cain, an E&H; engineer, said that projects using architecturally exposed steel like the St. Nicholas church require a greater deal of accuracy than others because the components must fit together flawlessly to achieve the desired visual effect.

“Everything has to be perfect,” he said.

E&H; is going the extra mile on the project. Typically, the company fabricates the steel components and ships them off to the client for assembly. Because of the complexity of this project, E&H; workers will travel to New York to help assemble the steel components of St. Nicholas.

“We feel obligated because of the nature of this project,” Cain said. “It’s special to us.”

Henderson said the company has been at work on the project for about three years, as bureaucratic and other issues have caused delays. He said the company will begin assembling the steel in the fall and the project should be complete by spring 2018.

E&H; got the opportunity to work on the project because of a previous job the company collaborated on at Florida Polytechnic University with the architect and contracting firm handling St. Nicholas. Just like the St. Nicholas project, the Florida Polytechnic University project required architecturally exposed steel.

Henderson’s father, Jimmy Henderson, is working on many of the fabrication tasks involved in the project. Henderson said he’s proud of his father’s personal involvement with the project.

“This is a once-in-a-career project for him,” he said.

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Information from: The Dothan Eagle, https://www.dothaneagle.com

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