From bears and buffaloes to butterflies and dragonflies, Rocky Mountain Parking Lot Services creatively brought to life two playgrounds for students. Using 23 specially-designed stencils and several other standard stencils, Rocky Mountain successfully completed pavement marking for Asbury and Cory Elementary Schools of Denver Public Schools.
Rich Taylor and his partner originally opened Rocky Mountain Maintenance in Denver in 1984. A few years later they went their separate ways and Taylor opened Rocky Mountain Parking Lot Maintenance. Currently operated by his son, Pat, and his wife Leigh, the company generates 50% of revenue from snow plowing, 30% from striping and 20% sweeping. Additional services include signage and parking blocks.
The two elementary school pavement marking projects were completed in August 2011. “They were putting new asphalt down in their playground areas,” says Trevor Ranck, estimator.
One challenge for Rocky Mountain was completing the project on time. “Everything was pushed to the end,” says Pat Taylor. “We only had one week to finish both schools before they opened. It put a little extra pressure on us, but luckily we had good weather that week.”
Key equipment for this project included several Graco LineLazers and specially-designed stencils from Outline Industries. In order to work with the different colors, Taylor had to adjust his crews and equipment. “We typically run three to four striping crews throughout the summer,” Taylor says. “We took two to three of our crews’ equipment each day, and we had six striping machines on site so we wouldn’t have to change colors each time.”
Preparation was essential to completing the job by deadline. “You have to have all of the stencils made by a professional stencil maker so they didn’t come out odd looking,” Taylor says.
Another important part of the prep work was completing the layout prior to stepping on site because it was a more challenging design. “Both playgrounds have big, long curves making it more difficult to get the right position,” Taylor says. “With the blueprints you need to take a couple of hours and take a scale ruler to measure everything out. I scaled everything out at the office a few days beforehand, and we knew which measurements were coming from what points before we arrived. When we arrived at the site everyone had something to do and everyone was moving in the right direction to get the job done.”
Taylor also points out that, like most construction projects, there was a slight difference on the pavement compared to on paper. “It’s one of those things where you measure off where you can and try to get it there, but you always have to tweak it, twist it a little more to make the layout fit the blueprint a little better.”
Rocky Mountain crews took several steps to make sure the layout was as accurate as possible. “There were certain moments when we would climb the playground to get a higher view and see how it looked,” Taylor says. “We knew the dimensions of the stencils. For the butterflies, we would measure the center for the tail and measure up for the center of the head and then measure the wings to make sure everything would fit in the area with the angle we were looking at.”
Working Around Other Crews
Although Rocky Mountain used the same equipment to complete both schools, each school had a slightly different design. Asbury has one basketball court, two tether ball courts, three foursquare and hopscotch courts as well as a map of the United States, Canada and Mexico. While such games may be common on a playground, Rocky Mountain included several unique designs using various animal and weather elements to accent the courts.
Since the asphalt was newly paved, prep work at Asbury Elementary School was minimal. “There wasn’t a whole lot of cleaning we had to do,” Taylor says. “Asbury was worse because crews were doing landscaping, so we had to do some power washing.”