A nationally recognized private school and the subject of an award-winning documentary,Providence St. Mel boasts a 29-year track record of 100% of its graduating class being accepted to and attending first tier and Ivy League colleges and universities.
Despite outstanding advances in teaching and community development, St. Mel’s building was outdated both technically and in its safety standards, and Chicago Flyhouse was called in to inspect and repair the outdated rigging system in the 100-year old school’s auditorium.
Working carefully to protect the historic structure, and without the benefit of a loading dock, Flyhouse gutted the stage area and designed, fabricated, and installed 17 new line/counterweight sets, a new locking rail, loft blocks, head blocks, and 42-foot battens – some of which were customized and specially located to allow line sets to pass through the building’s brick support wall to reach the load-bearing support wall – and replaced the school’s outdated wire guide with a new aluminum J-guide system. Flyhouse also eliminated the need to add an additional catwalk for arbor counterweighting by installing a capstan winch for easy system operation during load-ins and load-outs.
Scheduled for a full week, the entire renovation was completed in five days.
The system has been designed to allow for expansion of future line sets when needed, and Flyhouse looks forward to continuing to assist Providence St. Mel as it continues to grow and impact the next generations of Chicago’s leaders.