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Smith-Midland completes recreational lake restroom project in Missouri within a tight time frame and budget

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers contracted precast concrete manufacturer Smith-Midland Corp., to complete a time-sensitive, 750-panel restroom project.

Smith-Midland Corp., has completed a restroom project at Wappapello Lake that truly showcases the beauty and adaptability of precast concrete. The $865,000 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers project in Wappapello, Mo., encompassed 750 architectural precast panels, multi-colored fieldstone, and batten board siding.

Nestled in the foothills of the Ozark Mountains on the St. Francis River in Southeast Missouri, Wappapello Lake offers activities for all walks of life. Completed in 1941, Wappapello Lake annually provides an estimated $3.9 million in flood protection to agricultural lands and developed areas along the St. Francis River.

The Wappapello Lake restroom project was fairly routine for Smith-Midland with one exception: all 15 restroom buildings had to be finished within 60 days or less due to the looming Labor Day holiday. “It was a pretty tight timeframe for the number of pieces and structural intricacies involved,” said Scott Fiore, the Smith-Midland sales associate who initiated and managed the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) contract.

Up to the challenge, Smith-Midland developed five different floor plans and then began making the 750 24-foot by 20-foot precast panels in accordance with the project owners’ custom exterior finish requests. Fiore said Smith-Midland was selected for the Wappapello Lake project based on the company’s 50-year reputation in the precast business, commitment to quality, and reasonable pricing. “We have experience with these types of buildings,” Fiore added, “so the project owners knew that they were going to get exactly what they asked for.”

Sequoia Britton, Smith-Midland’s buildings installation manager, said the panels were installed by a local general contractor who was able to accommodate the short completion schedule laid out by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Part of the challenge, said Britton, involved transporting the huge precast pieces from Virginia to Missouri. “There were a lot of unknowns and possible roadblocks that could have come up during the trip,” remarked Britton. “To make sure there were no kinks, we put a lot of time and effort into the scheduling and transportation arrangements.”

Once onsite at Wappapello Lake, the 750 precast panels were installed in three phases with most of the heavy rigging and lifting managed by a local crane operator. “One of our foremen and I went to the jobsite and oversaw the entire process,” said Britton. “Everything went very smoothly and the customer is pleased with the results.”