Irvine-based general contractor Snyder Langston has broken ground on the massive redevelopment of Orange County’s Catholic cathedral expected to cost about $72.3 million. The construction company’s contract is valued at about $45 million.
“It is truly prestigious for an Orange County construction firm like us to have an opportunity to build a cathedral in our backyard,” said John Rochford, Snyder Langston’s president and chief operating officer.
“You build hotels and resorts, but nothing matches building a cathedral. It would be quite an achievement for us.”
The Orange County Register reports the project will employ sub-contractors and hundreds of workers including stone masons, carpenters and electricians. The biggest challenge is to ensure worker safety as they operate high above the ground installing everything from the ceiling and air conditioning to lights and other fixtures, Rochford said.
The sanctuary’s ceiling is at a height of 127 feet, which means it’s taller than a 12-story building.
“When you’re working at that height for a long period of time, things can get complicated,” Rochford said. “That’s why we are making sure we have a comprehensive safety plan and working with sub-contractors to ensure all workers are properly trained for the job.”