In November 2013, Productions Unlimited, Inc. was approached to undertake the demolition of the climber at The Children’s Museum of the Upstate in Greenville, SC. The climber had been closed to the museum’s visitors since July 2013 due to structural damage, and the museum needed to find something to do to reopen the space. PUI welcomed the chance to utilize our expertise on such a unique project and proposed to design an entirely new structure to bring the blocked-off space back to life. We took on the challenge as we designed, manufactured, and installed a brand new climber.
The design was particularly challenging in the fact that we not only needed to create a concept as unique as The Children’s Museum itself, but we also needed to find the right materials for the job. Considering the state of the structure, the plastic would have to be more durable and reliable than the previous product. After much research, Productions Unlimited, Inc. determined the best product for the new design would be our very own polyonyx+® performance flooring. It was the only plastic that gave us the long-lasting durability, texture, and flexibility the design required.
Once we settled on a plastic for the panels, the next step was to construct custom molding and paneling. The plastic panels were designed to be cut into creative shapes with the museum’s color theme in mind. In order to mold these panels, we utilized a thermoforming process. Productions Unlimited, Inc. built an oven made specifically for this project, then vacuum sealed the molds for each shape in order to change the flat plastic sheets of polyonyx+® into custom shapes. We utilized LINE-X protective coating to give each panel the proper color and non-slip grip to keep the structure safe and fun for the children.
After the panels were molded and coated, the installation began. The project took a collective 2,300 hours of installation labor. A majority of those hours were dedicated solely to creating the wire safety mesh that encloses the structure. Productions Unlimited, Inc. utilized 22,500 feet of clear 3/32″ vinyl-coated wire rope and 25,000 zinc-plated steel clips to create the safety mesh. The mesh, which was woven into a diamond pattern, created a design that was aesthetically pleasing and increased the structural integrity of the wire rope and panels. The intricately-woven wire rope was essential to ensuring the safety of the children as well as maintaining the artistic vision of the design.
Our final product was a huge success. During the unveiling of the climber on May 7, 2014, many museum members were able to enjoy the Productions Unlimited, Inc. custom creation. The climber is now open for all visitors of The Children’s Museum of the Upstate to enjoy during their visit.
For more information about our polyonyx+® product, check out our website www.polyonyx.net.
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