Pull Together

Cooperation is the name of the game for this entertainment complex in Hutto, TX.
Facing I-79, the main expressway in the area, the silos serve as the perfect signage backdrop for visitors to the residential and entertainment complex.

You’ve heard it before and perhaps it’s hokey, but “we’ll get through this together” applies to so many aspects of our lives today, including the ins and outs of construction and signage projects. CND Signs (Cedar Creek, TX), a full-service signage firm just outside Austin, is experiencing permit delays and the inability of some clients to pay on time, according to Paul DiBernardini, sales manager. Nothing so drastic has occurred on the company’s latest project, though some slowdown has ensued. “Every community is different, but partnerships and good communication are always key, especially in today’s times,” DiBernardini said.

The Hutto Co-Op, which began in 1937 as farmers coming together to process cotton in gins, is being transformed into the Hutto Co-Op District, a 35-acre complex of homes, restaurants, a library, a cinema-brewery and Hutto city hall. CND is providing indoor and outdoor signs for the complex, including signs mounted to three historic cotton silos. Christian Martinez, the founder and CEO of CND Signs, explained that the client envisioned modern, fun signage that also paid homage to farmers. The flagship sign reading “Welcome, the Co-Op District,” is 22 ft. at its widest point with a curvature that matches the silo. High winds are not uncommon in central Texas and the hot indoor environment made for a tough mount. “The general contractor encouraged the use of U-brackets to take advantage of the internal vertical structural members,” DiBernardini said. “But they proved unnecessarily complicated and boosted overall expense.” CND decided to use toggle-style anchors to catch the heavy-gauge corrugated-steel sheeting, and secure the 600-lb. load. They also employed a two-person aerial lift instead of a second crane.

The Southside Market sign – an 18 x 9-ft. curved cabinet with white channel letters; 3M vinyl red/yellow overlays; and red, yellow and blue neon – will soon be mounted on a silo.
The Southside Market sign – an 18 x 9-ft. curved cabinet with white channel letters; 3M vinyl red/yellow overlays; and red, yellow and blue neon – will soon be mounted on a silo.

CND Signs matched the blue color of the Co-Op District sign – specified by the client – and the Pantone color to Matthews Paint, providing samples on aluminum for approval prior to production. For the illumination of the signs, CND used white Select TX Gen 2 GESE65-2 LED modules from Current by GE, a Daintree company and Hanley LED model HLED-PF2080B in blue to make the Co-Op sign pop. “We describe the sign specifications and lighting expectations, and the LED vendors provide excellent assistance in selecting the best modules and power supplies for the project,” DiBernardini said.

The next sign to be silo-mounted is for the Southside Market & Barbeque, which claims it’s the oldest BBQ joint in Texas. Several additional signs for the Co-Op District complex are also in process. DiBernardini concluded that despite short-term delays, tight communication between the sign fabricator, landscape designer, general contractor, city of Hutto and other invested parties will ensure project completion and success.

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