When the town passed a law banning public skateboarding, an enterprising Drug and Alcohol Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) officer approached the company with a proposal to construct an in-line and skateboarding park for the local children. Complaints from residents and business owners had led to the new ordinance, and he sought an alternative that would please both Scituate townspeople and their children.
Hoffman and company improvised, and, using wooden molds, cast concrete forms of varying geometric shapes and sizes. After the product was cured overnight in a temperature-controlled environment at the Scituate plant, it was delivered to the park site with 25-ton boom trucks. Employing a “building block” approach, the concrete was configured into various skating structures, such as 1/4 pipes, 1/2 pipes, ramps, grinding rails and fun boxes.
The result was a solid, durable skating arena that was both cost-effective and long-lasting.
“The response from the town was overwhelming,” said Hoffman. “The park appealed to children and adults, and soon, surrounding towns were contacting us with additional orders. I never expected that our philanthropy would grow into a full-time business.”
However, with the success of the Scituate skate park came new obstacles to overcome. With the newly established SPi, Hoffman sought new methods to streamline the manufacturing process and reduce set-up time and overall costs. “We realize most
municipalities don’t have the funds to allocate to build an expensive park. We have worked hard to keep the costs down to about $10,000 to $30,000, depending on size,” said Hoffman.
He modified the molding process by replacing the wood casts with steel, which last longer. In addition, Hoffman looked to reduce the on-site installation time. The most labor-intensive task was sealing the joints in-between the concrete forms so that the seams are uniform.
Subsequently, when SPi installed a skate park in Devcon’s native town of Danvers, Mass., Devcon representatives visited the site personally to assess the problem. Devcon recommended Flexane™ FC Rubber Repair Liquid, a fast-curing urethane liquid used for filling expansion joints in metal or concrete.
Traditionally, the joints were sealed by mortaring the concrete, which was a cumbersome, slow process. The concrete had to be hand-mixed, applied with a trowel and leveled to eliminate any grooves or rough edges that could cause injury to skaters.
Conversely, Flexane FC, which is available in convenient, 400-ml cartridges, can be easily applied with a pneumatic gun for a fast, economical application.
According to Hoffman, “The difference is remarkable. Applying Devcon’s Flexane FC is a one-step process that saves us valuable time and money, which we ultimately are able to pass on to the customer.”
Moreover, Flexane FC hardens to touch in approximately 30 minutes – an important feature when you consider the crowd of onlookers often waiting anxiously to test the park. Because of the urethane’s fast-drying properties, Hoffman is able to complete the skate park and leave at the end of the day, confident that Devcon’s urethane is strong enough to support the skaters.
Typical commercial-grade urethanes have slower curing times. As a result, the concrete forms can be easily damaged if people use the park before the needed cure time has taken place. With Flexane FC, damage to the joints experienced after skating was virtually eliminated. This cut out costly rework time and reduced the threat of skater injury caused by catching a damaged, rough edge. Devcon’s Flexane FC provides a uniform, durable seal that ensures years of skating fun.
“Our skate parks are unequivocally the most durable, weather-resistant available today; that’s why we call them ‘Forever Lasting Skate Parks’,” says Hoffman. “And the Flexane FC is integral to that claim.”
For more information about Flexane FC, contact Devcon Corp., 30 Endicott St., Danvers, MA 01923-3786; phone 978-777-1100; fax 978-774-0516.