Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Adventures in Playground Striping

I wear many hats here at Stripe 'N' Seal, one of which is that of an estimator.  Mostly I look at plans and bid jobs off of "The Builders Exchange" which is an online plan room.  I enjoy bidding jobs this way because it gives me the opportunity to look at jobs all over Northern California without ever having to leave my desk.  Earlier this year I began looking at a school project in Mill Valley.  This particular job really sparked an interest in me because of the extensive amount of colors and games they were proposing to paint on the playground.  I bid the job and we got it!  When I got the contract for Old Mill Elementary in the mail I remember feeling excited, anxious and nervous all at once.  This was going to be an interesting job!

Most playgrounds that we stripe have between one and three total colors used.  Old Mill had a grand total of 12 different colors.  It was up to me to pick out the colors for architects approval.  I must say, it felt pretty neat to be picking out the colors that the kids would be looking at and playing on for years to come.  We had to special order some stencils for the animal court which included an elk, raccoon, fox, squirrel, opossum and the footprints of each.  Last week the big day arrived and we started work at the school.  I decided to go with our striping crew one day so I could help out and hopefully learn a little something.

We worked at Old Mill a total of three days.  The first day was spent laying out the games off of the plans.  This is a very tedious task involving a calculator, a tape measure, some chalk and string line.  Victor - the striping foreman on the job would measure out the dimensions of the games on the asphalt and then snap in lines using the chalk and string line.  I only helped layout a couple of games but I could see how draining it could be, especially if the plans aren't great and the sizes don't match. After that Victor handed me a paint roller and a bucket of green paint and put me to work.  I spent 90 % of my time at the school that day painting.  I painted the first coat on everything that was green and got the second coat on everything except the compass and one four square.  In the process I also ruined a pair of jeans, a sweatshirt and a pair  of Converse, mine of course.  I had a great time helping, learning and seeing what its like for the striping crew.  I  must say I learned some interesting things and spending the day actually working in the field really made me feel even more proud of where I work and the quality job we do.

The day after my big adventure in playground striping my legs were killing me and my right arm was so sore that I had to use both hands to operate my stapler. I had a blast and it was fun to hear all the people and kids walking by and getting excited about what we were doing.  One little boy got so excited he stood at the fence jumping up and down and giggling about how he couldn't wait to get back to school so he could play on a green game - yes, I felt proud.  For me this was more than a day at the office, it was an opportunity to learn a little more about our company, a little more about our crew, a little more about what we do and even a little more about myself.  If the opportunity ever comes for me to help the striping crew again you can bet I'll take it!

PS - Check out our Facebook page for more photos

Written by:  Shaunda McCreary



Jump Rope Games laid out with chalk

Completed Jump Rope

Completed Compass
Four Square with Running Track going through
Maze Game
Number Circle
Shape Circle
8.5' tall Elk

3.5' tall Raccoon
3' tall Opposum
5' tall Coyote
5' tall Fox

1 comment:

  1. Protesters dressed as prisoners from the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay stand at the steps of a federal courthouse wire fence