April 2, 2019 – West Bend, WI – A locally-owned company in Barton has been awarded the bid to install new heating and air conditioning at the downtown West Bend Theatre, 125 N. Main Street.
Albiero Plumbing and HVAC will be adding some aerial flare to its effort as they use a helicopter to deliver the new units to the rooftop of the downtown theatre.
“We’ll use the helicopter to remove the old units and then deliver four new ones,” said Albiero’s John Bohn.
Albiero Plumbing is still working out the logistics with the City of West Bend, the Police Department, and the helicopter company.
Staging for this install will be at the former Gehl Company parking lot, just off of Water Street and S. Forest Avenue.
“We’re going to be flying the equipment back and forth between the theatre and staging,” said Bohn.
There will be some pretty big safety issues to consider with regard to this type of special delivery.
Bohn said the roads they fly over, including Water Street and Veterans Avenue, will be closed during the project which is estimated to take four to six hours.
Albiero’s Travis Roell said logistically it wasn’t possible to complete the project from the ground because of restrictions on closing Main Street in the Downtown West Bend Business District.
“We couldn’t bring in a crane because we’d have to shut down the road for two days,” said Roell. “This probably hasn’t been done before …. we’ve not done this before.”
Years ago when the theatre was built in 1929, Roell speculates a crane had to be used to install the heating system. “Who knows… they could have taken them up there with ropes for all we know,” he said.
Safety, is a big factor and according to Bohn the helicopter company will require two crews for the project.
“One will be on the ground in the staging area to hook the equipment to the helicopter and another crew on the roof to guide it into place,” he said.
Midwest Helicopter from Illinois will be assisting Albiero Plumbing with the project. Below is a video of some of its work as it lifted a Beach Bonanza B36 out of a bean field and back to DuPage Airport.
“We’re pretty excited about this project,” said Roell. “We’re wishing we could get into the helicopter but I don’t think that’s going to happen for anybody but it’ll be interesting to see.”
Right now the exact date for instillation is still in flux.
Right now there are four rooftop heating units and the AC is actually ingenious.
“There’s a six-foot tall giant squirrel cage in the basement and back in the day it would cycle water from the river with a huge fan and it would blow that cool air into the theatre,” said Roell. “That unit is still in the building, we’ve seen it… it’s kind of a piece of history in and of itself.”
A refurbishing of the Historic West Bend Theatre is underway. Click HERE to read more.