Mehaffey Park, Loveland, Colo.

When plans for a $10.5 million, 69-acre community park in Loveland, Colo. came together, no one would have predicted that concrete would take center stage to tie it all together. In May 2013, ECI Site Construction contacted Colorado Hardscapes to help determine the best solution for a large retaining wall at the playground. They explored options of stacked natural boulders, but the look and cost didn’t mesh with the overall project goals. The challenge the team faced was finding a solution that met the desired aesthetics, the setting, and the budget. The solution they found was di Giacomo (glass fiber reinforced concrete) GFRC rocks.

They created the maquette (a precisely scaled model) based on the grading, park goals, audience, and project location. The maquette process for this feature took roughly two months, and once approved, Colorado Hardscapes’ di Giacomo crew began work on the GFRC panels based on the maquette. They created each GFRC panel locally in Colorado. Actual onsite construction began in August 2014 for the scope of the concrete GFRC retaining walls with footings, Sandscape and cobble lined-stream bed, two custom concrete crawl-through tunnels, and one custom concrete log balance beam. Everything within this scope was completed in June 2015.

“We worked with the team through the design and construction of the di Giacomo GFRC walls, along with concrete log tunnels and balance beam. Everything was custom built to this project,” says Karen Keyes, business developer with Colorado Hardscapes. The design intent was for these cliffs to be a subliminal source rock for all the site sandstone around the park. It also encouraged kids to go rock climbing. At the end, the park was a huge success.

In August 2015, Mehaffey Park opened up to the public. The new adventure park, which took years of planning and vision, opened with a huge celebration by the city.