The MLK50 Anniversary promised to be a huge celebratory experience marking the 50th year since Dr. Martin Luther King's historic 1968 trip to lead a march for the striking sanitation workers in Memphis, Tennessee. Multiple public ceremonies were planned to begin on Wednesday, April 4 and continue through Friday, April 6.
The final event was a ribbon-cutting to commemorate Memphis’ new MLK Reflection Park. The park’s key features were three reflection pools, a sculpture of Dr. King and never-before-seen images. The park was designed to be a point of reference to Dr. King’s impact on the city and the civil rights movement.
The MLK Reflection Park unveiling was the highlight of the week. Park construction was slated to be completed two days before the ceremony, and delays were not an option. So, when heavy rains threatened the construction company’s ability to complete the park on time, they had to find a solution, FAST.
The construction company tasked with completing the MLK Reflection Park project was pressed with a hard deadline of April 4, making March a critical month. March is a predictably wet month in the Mid-South. Heavy rains are common, and this year was no exception. Weather delays were becoming a major issue in the days leading up to the event. The construction company became increasingly desperate for a solution to the consistent rain that was impeding their progress and threatening their ability to complete the project on time.
Luckily, they discovered a solution close to home. Mahaffey was chosen by the construction company as a partner because of our well-known reputation for excellence and our extensive event portfolio. In addition, our team is accustomed to providing flexible, customized solutions that fit customer's needs.
The Client's Requirements Included:
- A temporary construction site cover that measured at least 200 feet long to protect the approximate length of the reflection pools and other park site amenities.
- Rapid installation. The structure needed to be completely installed in two days or less to minimize the construction crew’s down-time on the site.
- A cover at least 15' feet tall to allow clearance for large equipment to move freely beneath the tent.
- A cover that could stay in place for two weeks.
Site cover structure installation for MLK Reflection Park would include a rapid response timeline, coordinating working on-site with a busy construction crew, muddy conditions and almost constant rain.
Project Manager, Trip Gintz, surveyed the site the day after the initial call, and structure installation was scheduled for the following Saturday. On installation day, the Mahaffey team brought a single 16,400 sq. foot structure to the site.
However, upon arrival, the crew realized that the site was no longer amenable to the proposed solution. Necessary construction activity had taken place in bad weather and on wet ground during the time between the site survey and installation. The conditions at the site now required a different solution. The construction team didn’t have the luxury of time to lose, and the new solution needed to be provided quickly.
Just hours after the cancelled installation, Trip and the customer met in person to work on a solution. Phone and text communication with the client continued throughout the day as the Mahaffey team worked on an ideal and FAST solution. Mahaffey offered three 15-foot-tall, 2,500 sq. ft. canopy structures to cover the three reflection pools during construction. These covers were essential for this project. The pools were to be made of concrete, which requires time to pour and to cure without exposure to the elements.
Accommodating the customer's work schedule was nothing new for the Mahaffey team. The Mahaffey crew even built the structure trusses offsite and transported the assembled trusses to the site by forklift for installation, ensuring installation of the structure did not interfere with the construction crew’s work on the park.
On-site structure installation was accomplished in the minimal timeframe. The structures were in place for two weeks, and, when the need was over, Mahaffey crews completed full dismantle in one business day.
The adage, “There’s nothing to be done about the weather,” doesn’t have to apply to construction projects. A temporary site cover allowed the hard-working construction crew charged with completing this important project to stay on track despite the elements. In the end, the MLK Reflection Park was ready for the unveiling. The client was pleased, and the Mahaffey team is incredibly proud to be a part of completing such an important community project.
Weather delays don’t have to spell disaster for your next construction project. A qualified vendor can customize a site cover to virtually any size and scale, meaning there’s practically no job that CAN’T be covered, even when you are working with large equipment. Only a handful of companies are capable of engineering structures of this size to ensure stability and safety, so it’s important to vet your vendor carefully.
Mahaffey is much more than a fair-weather friend. Rain or shine, we're always ready to offer professional guidance, support and temporary structure solutions to fit any work schedule or project need.