Since 1985, the Hale Centre Theatre has brought high-quality productions to the Salt Lake City area. With each passing successful show, the company’s reputation grew, eventually making tickets tougher and tougher to come by. In fact, since 2012, each of Hale’s 400 performances a year have sold out.
In order to expand and allow more families the chance to see professional-level theater, the Hale Centre Theatre team is building a new state-of-the-art theater in Sandy, located in the south end of the Salt Lake Valley. The facility will include two stages — allowing for an approximate 700 performances per year — and expands the theater’s overall space to 130,000 square feet on nearly three acres, boosting seating up to 1,360 seats. The theater’s current home in West Valley City is 42,000 square feet and only seats 613.
However, well before the lights turn on for the first show in September 2017, the Geneva Rock team works closely with Layton Construction, the general contractor on the project, to make sure the theater has the necessary strength to accommodate the complicated — and useful — stage system and other amenities patrons will enjoy. The Layton-Geneva partnership is deeply rooted, with the pair working together on jobs for more than 50 years.
This one is turning out to be a complicated job that benefits from the combined know-how of both companies.
“We have a really good relationship with Geneva Rock, which is mainly based on their past performance and their capabilities,” says Jared Adamson, Layton’s project manager for the theater. “One of the worst things that can happen is to have your crews sitting there waiting for concrete trucks to come. Timing and spacing is crucial. Geneva has been great. Not once have we lost time with our people standing around waiting for concrete to get here.”
And the Hale Centre Theatre requires a lot of concrete. To accommodate a descending and ascending stage, the theater goes 70 feet in the ground below lobby level.
“There’s a stage that can be completely lowered so you can load a set while actors continue on a cantilever stage,” says Gordon Brady, project manager for Geneva Rock. “It’s great technology that doubles the speed they can load a set. It’s amazing technology that will add a lot to performances.”
Going that deep in the ground also raises concerns from ground water. To ensure the theater remains safe from the water table, the building is being built with enough concrete to essentially turn it into a bathtub that is lined with waterproofing. The bathtub-type construction seals is held into the ground with driven piles and seals water out of the theater while also providing strength to the building.
“The process is complicated and requires a lot of different crews working on different levels,” says Justin Robinson, concrete superintendent for Layton Construction. “We need just the right concrete mix and we need it delivered on time. Geneva does a great job at that.”
Specifically, there was a time when Layton and Geneva professionals worked together to make small changes to the concrete recipe when slight adjustments were required. Instead of getting defensive about the mix, Geneva Rock’s team took time to understand the issue and then fixed it.
“We worked with Geneva Rock to get a little better mix design for the walls by using a pea gravel mix,” Jared says. “We’ve looked at them as members of the team and they’ve come to us with solutions so we — as a team — provide a predictable outcome.”
The Geneva Rock concrete mix also meets the rigid quality demands Layton has for the project. And Geneva Rock’s past performance and reputation leaves Layton’s professionals confident with the outcomes they will receive.
“We know from experience that Geneva’s concrete comes up to strength all the time,” Jared says. “It is a good product. We don’t have to go back later and tear things out because it didn’t get to strength it was supposed to reach. That’s the last thing you want is to get the job done and then have to go back later and take it out and fix it. We don’t have to worry about that with Geneva’s product.”
That’s why the Layton-Geneva partnership will continue to take center stage on other products around the valley.