Years ago I worked for the only Union Roofing company in Colorado. By proxy, the union would get first dibs on government jobs. I worked on many top level security government facilities in and around Colorado. (As it’s the only Union around for 5 states…. With only one company in that union. A monopoly is putting it lightly.)
One of the contracts we always landed was Denver International Airport. As we’re involved in the International Union of Roofers and Waterproofing, it meant we would show up anytime they needed a new roof, something needed fixed, or a new foundation was being laid that needed Waterproofing.
Moral of the story is I got to explore DIA a lot. And parts are a bit unusual. I didn’t sign an NDA so I’m really not worried about being tracked down for this info. But it could happen I guess.
The first thing that struck me was how truly massive the whole property is. What you see when you visit the airport is nothing. DIA is twice the size of Manhattan.
There are way too many buildings for any normal airport, even one so extraordinary. The property is full of buildings. Some spaced out, and some clustered around the airport facility. But, many of these buildings just don’t make sense. Or you never see activity in or around them at all. And we’re talking hundreds of them.
But the craziest job I had there was a Waterproofing job for a “school”. It wasn’t actually on DIA property, but was on the Eastern edge of the property, just outside it. It was ran by the Corp of Engineers. Which in itself was odd, being that it was supposed to be a school not on a base.
The part that really made me start asking questions was what we were doing. Our crew was tasked with waterproofing the foundation… Which was 3 stories underground. There was only one story above ground. Being as we had to make sure the concrete was water tight, I saw every square inch of the foundation.
We started the job in winter and had to bury our work as we went. It was a tedious affair of painting, slapping on some peel and stick, and tracking down the diggers to move dirt when we were done with a section.
Every piece of the foundation was at a minimum 3ft thick with countless layers of steel rebar. For those who don’t know, that’s nuke proof specs. Some areas were a solid 8-10ft thick.
It gets weirder. In the front section of the building were giant bay door holes. The size to fit semi trucks and large military vehicles.
That’s pretty much the extent of my observations. Large Bay doors, nuke proof specs, 3 stories underground, at the edge of DIA property, ran by the Corps of Engineers. Very peculiar.
Our crew took to using finger quotation marks when talking about “The school”. It was an ongoing inside joke with us. If that helps elaborate on how obviously weird the whole thing was.
After we left the waterproofing aspect I never returned to that job, as I transferred across the country to a different Union. But I often wonder of the true intentions behind what we put in the ground.