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March Report

Expansion Report March 2010

STEEL YOURSELF!

In my first report on the expansion, “ARE WE THERE YET?” I introduced you to the management side of the project; an impressive group of individuals who continue to nurture the processes necessary for the building plan to progress and be ready for our July 1st race day – Oh! Canada!

As with any athletic endeavour being ready for race day requires a training plan based on three phases known as preparatory, competitive and transition or together referred to as periodization. Coaches and athletes work through the phases to build and match the challenges of race day to secure the win and build future success.

We are well into the competitive phase of our process of bringing about a world-class community paddling centre and clubhouse and not unlike the needs of our athletes we require specialists working under a head coach to be ready for race day.

The head coach in this process has been Monte Pickard of WAIDT construction who was introduced to you in my last article. I remind you here, he is a man with the big picture in mind and gifted with a “Gettin it Done” philosophy and coach specialists to help him realize the vision.

Many of you have commented excitedly about the visual transformation of the building with the advent of the steel placement and assembly. Specialists from Impact Welding have undertaken the placement and assembly of all that steel to create the buzz and excitement we all feel when we are progressing in our goals.

Very early on in the assembly process I learned what gifted tradesmen we had working for us. Like any great coach, Impact Welding owner, Paul Bernard took me under wing and described what he was going to do, how it was to be done and what tools would be used. (Critically important information to a building junkie such as myself.) More importantly, Paul revealed part of himself and the love of his art and in the process made me reexamine my understanding of steel as a material.

The rhythm of assembly under Paul’s guidance took on a new meaning for me as I would stop by and chat about the progress being made and setbacks encountered. Coaxing steel into place and shape was very similar to how RCC builds its athletes.

Paul has working with him two very skilled tradesmen in Terry Cronier and Steve Furano and they, like Paul, are infected with the love of their art. To watch them work is to understand that patience, skill, teamwork, focus in a noisy and distracting environment and careful attention to detail builds a strong frame upon which everything else depends.

These specialists understand their materials, have mastered their art, practicing daily in its execution and know when to rest in preparation for the next phase. They have encountered problems in design of their program and like good coaches and athletes they have had to tear apart their performance and rebuild or tweak the program in the effort of “Gettin it Done”

Paul, Terry and Steve have the bulk of the steel erection completed save for the roof system. They are tweaking the structure to ensure the fundamentals are right and then we will build on that frame an unshakeable winner - reminds me of all the seismic work we still have to do. 

This week also saw the placement of concrete on the second floor and the start of closing in of the building envelop so that other internal processes can begin but I’ll leave that for my next report. (Please see the attached PowerPoint presentation.)

We are in the 2nd period to pickup on where I started and if you have lost the training analogy think Olympic hockey gold medal 2nd period and the game isn’t over yet…  …we have to stay focused and on task.

ARE WE THERE YET?  - No not yet. Why don’t you start counting pickup trucks in the RCC parking lot?

Peter J. McBride
Expansion Committee Chair
Rideau Canoe Club
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