Spokane Journal of Business

Catlow raises expansive roof for food processor in Toronto

Spokane-based company completes second largest roof-raising job to date

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Catlow Structural Lifting, of Spokane, says it recently completed a project in Toronto in which it lifted the roof of a 43,000-square-foot food processing plant by 9 feet for an expansion project. The project, done some 1,800 miles away, was the Spokane company's second biggest ever, it says.

Owner Craig Catlow says the work, done for Toronto-based Fiera Foods Co., enabled that food producer to accommodate large new equipment that needed greater height clearance than the building could handle prior to the lift. He declines to disclose the value of the contract.

He says his company used 70 electronically controlled hydraulic lifting columns, placed around the building, to lift the roof. The electronic controls allow the columns to be lifted simultaneously, staying within a quarter of an inch in height of each other, he says.

It took Catlow Structural Lifting's crews about two weeks to set up for the lift, and the actual lifting process took about two days, Catlow says. After the roof was lifted, it took Fiera Foods another week to construct new steel columns to support the roof along the perimeter of the building, and to build the walls up to the height of the taller structure, he says.

The Spokane company started prep work on the structure during the first week of June, and the entire project time took about a month to complete.

Toronto is the farthest away the company has traveled for a job so far, Catlow says. He says that during the project, he had the opportunity to work with immigrants from around the world who make Toronto their home, including a Russian general contractor, welders from Israel, plumbers from Iran, and engineers from Pakistan, Ethiopia, and Jamaica. He says immigrants make up about half of Toronto's population.

Catlow says his company does work across the U.S. and Canada. It has done roof lifting for about 14 years, and also is known for moving buildings and large machinery. He says the company is looking at several lifting jobs, including one in Edmonton, Alberta, and another in California.

The biggest roof-lifting job the company has done was for a Colorado company, in which it lifted the roof of an 86,000-square-foot building.

Catlow Structural Lifting employs three people here and hires additional labor from the areas near its job sites.

  • Chey Scott

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