And aside from that, pretty much nothing else happens. Well, when you’re in the construction industry, anyway.
And so it was when Ron Cleveland of Ron Cleveland Construction in Beaumont, Texas, was in the beginning phase of building The Gathering – a 14,000 square foot shopping center that would eventually house several retail and commercial businesses in neighboring city Port Arthur. Over the next eight months, more than 36 inches of rain caused numerous delays and mounting frustration for everyone involved in the job. It set the tone for what eventually became more the rule than the exception: from the time they broke ground to the time the project reached completion, more than 108 inches of rain had fallen, right along with the hopes of a smooth-flowing project schedule.
But every cloud, as they say, does have a silver lining, and eventually The Gathering came to life as the smart, beautifully designed structure it was meant to be. The design incorporates three metal building systems from Star Building Systems and features accent aluminum panels on the exterior to give the look of wood against contrasting white, which, is an insulated wall panel that looks like stucco and is strong and well insulated. 8,022 square feet of Metl-Span’s 2-inch thick Tuff Wall insulated metal panels worked perfectly for the walls because of Ron’s choice of a Star building system. The IMPs have a 24-gauge exterior in Textured White and 26-gauge interior in Igloo White. 8 inches of additional, un-faced insulation were installed in the walls to make them R-40.3. Additionally, 1-inch-thick, high-impact windows and wind-rated doors were utilized.
The Gathering is no predictable shopping center design concept – and that result is completely, well … by design. Ron approaches every project with a focus on creativity and unexpected touches. “I don’t do cookie cutter”, he says; “Usually every job I do is unique in some way, with a difficult twist or a little character to it.”
The single-slope roof was constructed with 11,857 square feet of MBCI’s 24-gauge Galvalume Plus Double-Lok standing seam roof system. The roof was insulated to R-32. The shopping center’s entry way to the main shopping building features a 1-foot, 4-inch slim-line canopy at the high and low sides, and at the end-walls. The entrance canopy has MBCI’s Artisan L12 metal soffit panels in Snow White. A second canopy, below-eave, was constructed with 24-gauge steel, support beams and decorative columns to cover a walkway that wraps around the main shopping building.
That affection for creativity and straying from the norm may explain why Ron has such a long-standing history with metal building systems and the team at Star. “You’re not limited when you have a metal building. You don’t have all the load-bearing walls and stuff like you do with sticks and bricks,” explains Ron; “You can go in and change all your interior walls and not have to worry about how it affects anything on the outside.” He likes that he’s not limited when it comes to the tools Star offers him, either. “Star’s SBS software is a very big help for me. I use it all the time on all types of projects. You can go in and generate not just a cost or budget, but also schematics and drawings – all the details.”
Ron’s relationship with Star began in 1979, when he worked for his parents at the family’s business, Cleveco Construction Company. In 2008, he became the sole proprietor of Ron Cleveland Construction Company and continued the valued partnership with Star. “They’re like family”, he says. In addition to the friendship, though, Star is a vital part of ensuring project success and, ultimately, customer satisfaction. “Their customer service is what I value the most. They’re there from the beginning to the end. From the time I start negotiating on a job, I’m working with the people at Star all the way through”, says Ron. “Their expertise is invaluable. I can take the architect’s plan and work with them to figure out the details and then generate drawings with SBS that help put it all together.”
Ron’s enthusiasm for metal building systems and Star is not just limited to his customers’ projects, though. When the time came for him to build a new office for his construction company, he worked with Star to do the building because he “wanted it to be a showpiece.” Ron Cleveland Construction Company now exists in a building that stands as its own statement about the passion behind the company’s work: to push the boundaries of metal building construction and create spaces that are as beautiful as they are practical.
Thanks, Ron, for your creativity in always thinking outside the metal box.