Mahaffey Theater Exterior Renovation 2021

St. Petersburg, FL

Exterior Renovations Make A Cultural Jewel Shine

The Mahaffey Theater with its beautiful waterfront setting and unparalleled performances is a shining cultural jewel. KHS&S first worked with the City of St. Petersburg in 2005 to complete an exterior renovation. KHS&S was engaged once again in 2019 for exterior demolition, removal of current surfaces and refacing. With the main entrance constructed of glass, exterior renovations took place on three sides reaching up to 80 feet at the peak of the 2,031-seat theater tower.

  • Exterior Services
  • Demolition
  • Skim coating
  • Wall leveling
  • Waterproofing
  • Metal framing
  • EIFS
  • Stucco

Adhesion Pull Testing to Ensure Longevity

All existing coatings had to be removed down to the bare concrete. When the traditional pressure washing method did not remove all substances, soda blasting was used to achieve the smooth surface required. Once concrete was bare, adhesion pull testing was conducted to determine the strength of the adhesive on the exterior coating to ensure that once the EIFS was applied it would not separate from the wall over time. For the test, adhesive was placed on a disk and adhered to the exterior wall coating. Once cured, the force required to pull the coating off the surface was measured to meet KHS&S’ highest standards.

Maneuvering in a Busy Downtown

When major road construction and repairs impacted access to the theater’s front entrance limiting movement, KHS&S redirected material delivery to the back entry further away from the renovation area. Adding to an already congested downtown, the theater’s parking garage converted to a COVID-19 testing site adding more traffic challenges. Constant communication with the City of St. Petersburg and organizing construction sequencing to maintain productivity helped KHS&S plan for these disruptions.

Accelerating a Construction Schedule During a Pandemic

While the pandemic brought on challenges, it also helped to accelerate the construction schedule with improved productivity. The City of St. Petersburg permitted the exterior renovations to continue during the pandemic, allowing KHS&S to work more elevations with fewer interruptions as the theater was not open to the public. Prior to the pandemic there were spans of two to three hours each day where work was halted so noise would not impact the Florida Orchestra practices and performance rehearsals.