The assembly of the first of six film towers going up at the Gators football practice field begins early on a Monday morning in Gainesville. The towers will allow journalists and coaches to film, videotape and photograph scrimmages as the team practices at the L. Gale Lemerand Football Support Facility later in the season. The field is located close to University Avenue, in front of McKethan Stadium and next to Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.
By the time the sun is coming up, most of the team’s practice gear has been pushed to the side to make room for the pieces used in the assembly of the large structure going up just behind a goal post. The first of the two steel pieces that will serve as the frame for the stairwell weighs in at 6,000 lbs. The 90 foot of boom extending off a 30-ton Tadano truck crane supports the structure as it’s lifted and set into place. Workers from Cutting Edge, a St. Augustine-based welding and fabrication steel erection company, begin the process of screwing in the nuts and bolts needed to securely keep the frames in place. It’s not much longer before the second steel piece goes up.
This morning the client and Cutting Edge Owner Randy Mimbs is on site overseeing the project. As he watches Sims Crane CCO Harry Scarbarozi he explains why he continues to do business with Sims. “The operators are good at what they do. Other companies may sometimes have better equipment, but they often lack good operators. I also have a long standing working relationship with Salesman Lon Poppell. He’s a great guy.”
As the stairwell itself begins to be assembled you can hear the faint sound of members of a little league baseball team practicing on the opposite side of the field normally occupied by football players. The field is doubling as a summer training camp for adolescent boys. But it’s not long before the sounds of crews hammering in the bolts drown out the young voices in the background.
The boom swings another piece of stair platform over to the crew, followed by a set of stairs. Throughout most of the morning and afternoon this process is repeated causing crew members to move higher up on the structure. Today it’s just about setting the tower. Over the next couple of days, crew members from Cutting Edge will detail the structure and “torque the bolts.”
For more pictures of this lift, click here