The Hascall & Hall team recently spent some time at a long-standing, non-profit organization called Camp Ketcha on Black Point Road in Scarborough, Maine. This 107 acre facility has programs for all ages and families and has been in existence since 1964 operating year round. Camp Ketcha’s programs are incredibly diverse and they serve approximately 3,000 participants of all ages. From equestrian programs, a Montessori Pre-School, team-building, community programs and special events – the main building on the grounds is where they make it all happen smoothly. Camp Ketcha’s website will tell you that their programs promote self-awareness, leadership and decision making.
Camp Ketcha wanted an estimate for portions of their main building. Prior to the purchase, the main building was a barn. The camp’s history lists a story regarding a room in the barn, called “The Skunk Room” due to a family of skunks living beneath the floor of that room when the property was purchased. After the barn burned down in 1999, the main building was turned into a modern facility in 2000 – housing offices, classrooms, a conference room and a great room and is the major “hub” of the camp.
The original floor in the main building was 12 x12 VCT (vinyl composition tile). Although the floor was new in 2000, the maintenance of the tile was costly and an on-going battle. After 14 years of having the floor stripped and waxed monthly, the decision was made by Camp Ketcha management to explore more economical options. The main criteria for the new floors were low maintenance, durability and visual appeal while working efficiently with their existing radiant heat system.
Camp Ketcha Before Photos
The project committee at Camp Ketcha was thoroughly invested in evaluating the options available that met all their criteria. Originally, 3/8 inch quarry tiles were considered to overlay the concrete. With this tile for the floor, the radiant heat would heat the concrete and then heat the overlay taking more time and expense. The cost of this type of quarry tile was also one of the more expensive options although certainly durable and visually appealing. During their search, one of the committee members saw the floors that we had recently installed during the renovation of the Cumberland County Civic Center now the Cross Insurance Arena and called us for a consult.
Our flooring estimator, Brad Smolin, conducted a site visit to determine our best recommendation. In discussing the radiant heat embedded in the concrete, Brad suggested a polished concrete process as the most economical, durable and visually appealing option. The polished concrete floor would also be a great option for the radiant heat. With yearly maintenance, the floor would hold up to the camp’s high foot traffic.
In an effort to make sure that the committee was making an informed decision that they would be comfortable with, Brad suggested that they do site visits to look at three different polished concrete floors completed by the Hascall & Hall team. Their due diligence included looking at the floor at Scarborough Grounds, a coffee shop in Scarborough, the Unitarian Church in Brunswick and finally a floor at the Ames True Value Hardware in Wiscasset. Each floor had different colors and finishes ranging from a natural matte finish to a high sheen.
Camp Ketcha chose two different colors and a semi-gloss finish. Hascall & Hall started work on the polishing process for the hallways, administrative area, the kitchen and both bathrooms. They chose the color Aqua Blue for the two bathrooms and the color Mocha Brown for the remainder of the floors.
The scope of our work included a straight forward concrete floor polishing project of approximately 1,942 square feet in the multiple areas noted. The number of different rooms meant a great deal of hand grinding along every edge. As with every project, another site evaluation was completed again before beginning work.
The VCT had been removed, but the mastic still remained. The challenge with removing mastic is that it requires an aggressive grind and if not done properly this process can leave grind marks behind that will show in the final finish. It also takes experience to make sure that the edges blend properly into the main areas of the floor that are ground with a 32 inch planetary grinder. The key to the success of these floors was rooted in close teamwork and patience to complete the lengthy process properly without rushing through a single step.
During the Polishing Process
These floors required a 12 step procedure that included six grinds. The final steps are done in a particular order to ensure the longevity of the floor. First, the dye is applied to meet the color requirements chosen. After the dye, a densifier is applied. Simply, the densifier seals the dye and also strengthens the concrete and ensures proper bonding to the substrate. The final step is burnishing after the finish coat is applied which is an acrylic based top-coat. As with other polished floors, the burnishing removes any residual finish coating and creates a chemical reaction that bonds the topcoat with the concrete.
Camp Ketcha remained open during the polishing with the staff using an alternate entrance during the day. The staff and Hascall & Hall crew worked well together to complete the project in a timely manner while also ensuring the safety of the many visitors. With all the foot traffic in every kind of weather, this floor will stand up and remain visually appealing with proper maintenance for many years to come.
The Final Results
It was a pleasure to work with everyone at Camp Ketcha and we applaud their efforts and dedication to their mission: To be a leader in co-educational youth development services in Maine, by offering services that address documented need and create positive growth and learning experiences for youth, families and the community.