To complete the new eight-screen, state-of-the art movie theater that serves as a centerpiece for the new Point mixed-use development in Boston’s Metro Northwest, designers turned to precast concrete hollowcore supported on concrete masonry units. The components’ speed of erection through three phases of construction ensured a speedy completion.
The $10-million Point project is the area’s first mixed-use retail destination of its kind in Littleton, Massachusetts. It features the region’s only open-air center to combine shops, restaurants, grocery, hotel, and entertainment.
A highlight of the development is the 380,000-square-foot O’neil Cinemas center, an eight-auditorium theater with wall-to-wall screens and all-stadium seating. The largest theater includes a 72-foot wide curved screen, the biggest in Boston’s Metro Northwest region and one of the largest in the United States. The facility includes tabled recliners for in-theater dining and a contemporary lounge with seating capacity to accommodate up to 85 people.
“The design concept for this development is to blend the small town charm of Littleton with the new high tech industries that are moving into the area,” according to Schroeder & Holt Architects in Milwaukee. The spacious lobby is accentuated by a large concessions area that includes self-serve soda and a number of ticketing kiosks.
General contractor Hutter Construction Co., brought in Strescon Limited to supply, install, and grout the 90 precast concrete pieces of 8-inch hollowcore to serve as flooring for the stadium seating areas. “We were brought on board because Hutter knew we could detail and produce the precast concrete plank for the project with a quick turnaround schedule,” says Gerald Grassby, business development at Strescon.
The main challenge centered on the number of mobilizations required of M. Solberg Enterprises, the erector, Grassby notes. “After each level of plank was placed and grouted, the erector needed to wait until the masons had built the CMU support walls for the next level.” In all, three phases of installation and grouting were required, with all materials installed by April 2017.