As the University of Connecticut was moving ahead with plans to harden security at Gampel Pavilion this past spring, O&G pitched an alternative idea
Protective posts, called bollards, were to be installed, 116 of them, at access points to the arena where crowds concentrate for games, graduations and other big events. In a worst-case scenario, these bollards would help protect pedestrians from any vehicle intending to do harm.
Through its long association with UK-based manufacturer Marshalls, O&G pitched the University on a unique, shallow mounting bollard system manufactured by the company.
England and other European countries have been devising innovative systems to thwart vehicle attacks for some time, longer than US companies. Marshalls’ RhinoGuard™ shallow-mount bollards are able to stop a heavy vehicle impacting at high-speed. Installed only six inches below grade, they are also quicker to install than the bollards originally specified on UConn’s plans.
It was O&G Architectural Representative Ben Canino’s job to bring the alternative bollard to the project team’s attention. “From the minute I received the lead from Bob Rizzo [O&G Vice President, Masonry Division] it became a solid collaborative effort between Marshalls USA and O&G,” he says.
Canino is quick to point out the contributions of Jonathan Berry from Marshalls. “Jonathan joined me in presenting the advantages and capabilities we brought as manufacturer and supplier.” Berry’s expertise with the bollard system and his communication skills – Canino calls them stellar – were significant assets.
Canino first approached the company that would be installing the bollards. Milton C. Beebe and Sons was the general contractor and Glen Burnham was managing the job. “Glen was prepared to install the bollards specified on the plans but he came on board with the switch to Marshalls’ system when we laid out all the installation advantages. O&G being local and ready to support him as he worked with this new product I know helped his buy-in.”
Next Canino and Berry paid a series of calls on Sean Sanger of Copley Wolff, the Boston-based landscape architect who specified the original system. Through meetings, presentations and phone calls, Sanger, like Burnham, saw the upside to the switch. “When it came to discussing an alternate system to the one he had specified, Sean was open-minded and engaged. We provided him with all the technical information he requested,” says Canino, “and A higher level of protection now guards Gampel Pavilion
As the University of Connecticut was moving ahead with plans to harden security at Gampel Pavilion this past spring, O&G pitched an alternative idea then we tailored our system in response to his and the University’s requirements. Sean was great to work with, too.”
The final challenge was convincing Ian Dann, whose department oversees site planning and landscape architecture at the University. “Ian was like the rest of the team, willing to look at the advantages our bollard system would bring to the job. It was clear that everyone was looking for a solution that would be in UConn’s best interest.”As much as the advantages of the product were key, the contractor, architect and UConn were just as encouraged by O&G’s reputation as a reliable, local distributor who supports its products. They appreciated O&G’s ability to warehouse bollards arriving from the UK and then deliver them to the site when needed. “We presented a complete package that gave them an improved solution to their security challenges,” says Canino. “We’re local, we’re here to stay and we’re here to support. We became a part of the team and the project went very, very well.”