Home Forums Events & Projects Shade Structure Design Selection – Time to Vote!

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    The shade structure recently lost to a wind event lasted 25 years. It had an initial cost of a 3 or 4 $k. It required periodic maintenance in paint. A little bit of wood rot at the base of the support columns caused the complete loss. Mitigating the wood rot either by adding support straps going a few inches up each column to bite healthy wood or replacing columns every 10 years could have likely extended its life to 50 years or 100 years. This is all 20 20 hindsight.

    For years we enjoyed the shade it provided. I don’t recall any recent discussions prior to the structure loss about a need to improve the amount of shade. We seemed quite content with its function.

    I would hazard a guess that if we utilized the existing foundation that sits there with its proof of lasting a quarter century and was not culpable with respect to the loss of of the structure, and rebuild to similar strength with perhaps a better column base connection, the total materials might be well under 10K and built by members with 4 or 5 work parties spread across less than a month.


    Can we make Rob’s above proposal option #8, I would likely vote for that, and keep most of the club funds for other projects.

    Since there would be 2 significant new options, could a fresh vote for all members be made for the 8 options?

    Thank you, and happy voting.



    I agree with option 8.  I am not saying I am prescient, but I wrote in that exact thing the day the vote opened.

    I also like the work that Mitch, Dusty and Marcello did for free.  Although not free, their time has value.



    Jimmy Bagheslai
    General Member

    Yes, me and many I talked to would support a review of the options, though when I talked to Stan he firmly declined even a re-ballot.

    Also, I understand that the elders believe what they had is good enough, but I think some extra shade would be great.
    Here are the practical reasons:

    After talking to people, including instructors, I believe the new structure should have some section or area for instructors so they can peacefully and without being in the way of others conduct their training.
    We all know how weird it is to cross the path of an instrucor as he is explaining something on the board there.
    An extra space would also allow for a better enviroment for clinics. The last time I personally experienced one at AJX was cramped in the corner of the small stairs. It was tight and many in the back could not recognize anything on the large monitors Dan had brought along.
    So this would be one expansion.

    I also believe that the shade structure should extend over to the BBQ area, we have seen several loved attemps which unfortunately were blown away.

    So I would propose a structure that begins where the long stairs are, and ends to a bit behind the BBQ area.

    I wouldn’t go as deep, but that is up for others.

    We do need to go by the building code, I am sure we agree with Stan on that.
    The structure must be engineered to withstand winds of 130mph and earthquake and all that stuff.

    Structure Material
    Thus far no wood based design was considered because nobody engineered such a wood structure.
    We have friends who offered trees of wood, but when I asked a bulding engineer he said it is difficult to work with such wood, since there is nobody attesting that particular wood’s load forces and all that they need to calculate matters correctly.
    Wood is also a constant thread of fire.
    Wood is great and easy to work with, but it needs constant maintenance which can’t be relied on.

    Steel is expensive initially but on long term it compesates for maintenance and repairs.

    So for me, I agree that we hopefully get the board to reconsider the timeline and method it decided upon.
    I think the initial offer(s) somehow forced all the following offers to keep up, without actually considering the basic needs and costs in first place.


    A bit of history on the shade structure recently lost.

    Built in about 1996. It attached securely to the 6,000 lb 20′ container. The foundation was with 4 by 6 columns bolted via brackets to railway ties sunk (dug) into the dirt. There was no concrete slab yet.

    5 years later in about 2001 a slab, the one we see was poured. A frame of a couple sq ft was placed around each column base to keep the column open with followup temporary mini slabs filling in around each column base poured the next day. The idea was to be able to jack hammer out this tiny amount of concrete to inspect or repair column bases. But it also put the lowest 5″ of the column below grade and sealed trapping water. Not good in hindsight. And I don’t think any attention was ever given to inspection the column bases for rot. Our bad.

    Then 13 years later in about 2014, a metal roof was added. Prior, it was 2 by 6 decking with 1/2″ gaps. It allowed the roof to breath but the metal roof not only added nice protection for the pilots from rain, it increased lifting forces during Santa Ana’s.

    It is possible however that the metal roof added negligible lift.

    It is also possible that the column bases might have actually been compromised for years since we had no easy way to inspect the column bases.

    Regarding fire, it is obvious that wood burns more readily than metal. However there is a fairly good fire break around structure location. In Oct 2003 the “Old” fire burned all around the LZ. The house 800′ NW of the LZ was lost. The upwind hang glider storage container heated to the point of melting several gliders inside. The entire water infrastructure was lost and needed to be rebuilt. The shade structure (wood) had no damage. Go figure. Perhaps the fire break was a factor.



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