South Carolina State Museum Planetarium – A Stellar Success!

Like an honored guest at a banquet, the South Carolina State Museum (SCSM) Planetarium sits prominently at the east end of the SCSM building. In contrast to the main museum, a historic brick building constructed in 1894 for cotton duck cloth manufacturing, the expansive glass walls surrounding the 44 foot tall planetarium sphere look like a jewel box.

Shining as bright as the building itself, are the stories of planning, construction, and teamwork contributing to the successful construction of this four-story planetarium. Jason Grubs, Branch Manager of L&W Supply’s CK Supply in Columbia, worked closely with Radius Track Corporation to provide acoustical, drywall and metal stud installation contractor Collins and Wright Inc., comprehensive material pricing and quotes almost two years prior to construction.

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“Estimating this project was a big challenge,” said Dean McDaniel, Project Manager for Collins and Wright Inc., “L&W Supply and Radius Track Corporation exceeded our expectations from estimating right through completion of the planetarium sphere construction.”

Additional benefits to working with L&W Supply and Radius Track that McDaniel mentioned included:

  • Coordinated logistics between Collins and Wright, L&W Supply, and Radius Track Corporation
  • Clear delivery dates that were met
  • Delivery trucks unloaded by L&W Supply at the job site according to the installation sequence
  • All parts of the Curved-Right™ Dome included in the contract arrived when expected
  • Curved-Right™ Dome labeled and packaged clearly so parts were easy to locate and assemble
  • Fast install— Collins and Wright installed the light gauge Curved-Right™ Dome over one weekend

“Toward the end of construction for the planetarium framing, one of the mechanics installing the pre-curved framing came down off the scaffolding, shook my hand and thanked me for letting him work on the project. That is how smoothly everything went,” said McDaniel.

This camaraderie and pride of work extended from sub-contractor right up to the General Contractor on the project, Gilbane, who threw a “Topping-Out Party” for the construction team. All sub-contractors gathered around the planetarium dome and had a BBQ lunch to celebrate completion of the framing and drywall on the sphere.

Perhaps the greatest testament to a satisfied customer is one who hires you for another project. Recently Gilbane contracted Collins and Wright to work on the University of South Carolina Law School project as a result of their performance on the South Carolina State Museum Planetarium. Look for this project to shine just as bright because Collins and Wright is certain they will be working with L&W Supply again.

*Photograph by Jonathan Sharpe

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