Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Latest on Lanikai

Lanikai Elementary School has a stage!

When last we spoke about the Lanikai Elementary School stage project (in this post), I was daydreaming about little kids performing the hula on that stage, under that beautiful banyan tree, a short walk away from the picturesque beaches of Lanikai and Kailua.

But, I needed to get my head out of the clouds. We had work to do! Kat managed to hook up with Shawn McKay. He's another parent at the school, a husband to one of the school's teachers, AND an actual contractor! With this video fly-through that Kat made of my sketchup model, and what I am sure was a kick-ass speech she gave at the fundraiser, the school got enough in donations to fund the project.


I'd given them the overall design of the stage, but the school couldn't start building until everything was approved by professional engineers. Enter our new friend Jon, the structural engineer, working pro-bono (on occasion) for the school system. He was immeasurably helpful. I gave Jon this layout plan:


and he turned that into engineered construction drawings:

I took Jon's construction drawings, which indicated but didn't show how the framing would work, and I made this plan to help visualize the framing. That's a lot of lumber!

And I made this model to indicate how the Trex decking should be laid out:

We had some fits and starts with scheduling the construction. We thought for a minute that we'd be able to do the work during the school's Spring break (back in April)- a slender window of time that would have allowed me to fly out to Hawaii to participate in the construction before flying back to NYC and then down to Barbados with Cindy, our friend Kendra, and the Castro's (Bernadette, Arsenio, and Axel) for our dear friends' the Spangler's wedding. But that didn't work out. There were a number of complications, not the least of which was the fact that Shawn-the-Contractor's wife was 9 months pregnant and due to give birth.

Then, one day during the Spangler wedding trip, this picture popped up on my Facebook feed. It documents the arrival of the first pile of lumber. I don't believe I've ever been so delighted by a pile of lumber in my life.

A few days later, Kat posted a time-lapse video of the initial framing of the stage. I was elated to see things coming together! But I'll save that video for later; it's now included in a time-lapse video of the entire build process.

In the meanwhile, here are a few still-shots of the stage framing. I understand that the construction was done both by Shawn McKay's construction team as well as parent volunteers.

I wonder if they bought the stair stringers pre-cut or if some poor soul had to cut them all out individually with a circular saw...

And here's the decking, staged to go on the stage. (You see what I did there? You like?)

And now for the complete construction in under 3 minutes (apologies for the abrupt ending of the music):

Here's Kat's rig for her GoPro camera. I'm thrilled she took the trouble to make that video, because not being able to participate and help really bothered me. Getting to watch the process (even after the fact) helped me not feel so terribly far away.

And here's the best part! Blessing the stage and the kids dancing the hula on it!!


And another best part: everyone uses the stage during recess. Some kids use it to sit and chat, some are dancing, some adults are supervising the kids, and a couple of girls had plunked themselves in the middle to color and draw. That's Kat in the pink dress on the left.

By the way, if I forgot to mention it earlier, I chose to wrap the stairs all the way around the stage this way so that the sides could be used as a small stage or lecture podium if any teachers wanted to bring their classes outside and stay in the shade.

The school is currently working on arrangements to make the hand rails and a safety railing that will go along the back of the stage where the wooden barricades (leftover from the May Day Celebration) are currently standing. I provided the school with 3 hand-drawn sketches when the rest of the drawings were submitted, and we chatted about it a bit today.  The project is down to punch-list items.  I'll post again when they get the railings and stuff up, but other than that, Lanikai Elementary has a stage, and we're all thrilled!!

2 comments:

  1. It's so beautiful to have that stage the way it works with the tree. Just so peaceful and magical.

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