Grand Entrance for a Grand Structure

In 2001, Stanislaus County and the non-profit Central Valley Center for the Arts began making plans for the $47 million performing arts complex, called "one of the most important downtown projects in the county’s history."

The Gallo Center for the Arts houses two concert halls, the 1250-seat Mary Stuart Rogers Theater and 444-seat Foster Family Theater, and an outdoor courtyard lined with grapevines.

Concrete by Hallack of Turlock, Calif., was hired in 2006 to create the Gallo Center's grand entrance, a 22,500-sq.-ft. decorative concrete plaza.

Close coordination between the design team, ready mix producer, the concrete contractor, and materials suppliers produced in high quality results within the project's budget requirements.

Concrete was poured early in the morning to avoid traffic congestion in the busy downtown location. This raised issues of limited lighting and avoiding obstacles above and below grade, such as lighting fixtures, electrical boxes, and irrigation equipment.

Most of the decorative concrete was placed during spring and summer, so extreme temperature changes were an issue. "The conditions can impact the water demand due to surface evaporation, and also cause water absorption issues because of moisture differences in the sub-grade," explains Jim Ruddy, vice president of sales for Allied Concrete & Supply. Allied supplied 400 yards of specialty concrete for the project.

Maintaining consistent color and texture across the plaza's diagonal bands took precision, attention to detail, and communication between the concrete contractor and producer.

An alternating light and medium sandblasted finish creates contrasting textures.

Precise 45 degree saw cuts are both functional and aesthetic.

Hallack's team finished the plaza with a coat of L.M. Scofield's Select Seal W water based urethane sealer.

The contractors also created a 4000-square-foot private entrance for performers behind the theater.

They added a special touch to the artists' entrance and loading dock areas, with Dark Walnut Tintura stain and Select Seal W water based urethane sealer donated by L.M. Scofield.

The project included 5000 square feet of sidewalks at the edge of the plaza. The uncolored concrete was treated with retarders for an exposed aggregate finish that met the City of Modesto's standards.

 "It was a very challenging job on many levels," Ruddy says. "But because of the level of commitment and communication between [Hallack's team] and ours, we overcame the challenges and now look back with pride in our accomplishment."

Julio Hallack founded Concrete by Hallack in 1986.

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