Find a Rep
Your Rep

Articles & Resources

Technical Library

Total Value / Lifecycle Costing

Project Highlights

Building Industry Articles


River Trails Park District Finds Purpose for "The Zone"

Sometimes, it takes a while for a building to find its purpose. Such was the case for the building generically known as “550” and located in an industrial park in Mount Prospect, IL. While the River Trails Park District (RTPD) had acquired the facility in 2003, it would take another 12 years, with lengthy dialogue and input between RTPD leaders and the community, before the building would find new life as “The Zone,” an indoor athletic training center that includes parkour, rock climbing, indoor soccer turf fields with over 7,000 square feet of turf – even a 6-foot deep foam pit. The Zone had discovered itself at last, but the RTPD still had a challenge. Could they ensure the building’s stale EIFS (exterior insulation finishing system) façade would match the renewed energy and excitement found inside, and do so in a way that was both resistant to moisture and budget friendly?

  • Project: Rec Center
  • Location: Mount Prospect, IL
  • Garland Territory Manager: Matt Lemere
  • Contractor: Futurity 19, Naperville, IL
  • Materials Used: Tuff-Coat
River Trails Park District 5
River Trails Park District 1

"A coat of paint wasn't going to solve our problem"

River Trails Facility Manager Tom Kearns recognized that before The Zone could get an aesthetic facelift, it would need some structural work. "A coat of paint wasn't going to solve our problem," Kearns said. "We had identified cracks throughout the facade and knew that we needed overall work on our building envelope-before we could give The Zone the look we wanted to achieve." Kearns called Matt Lemere, Territory Manager for The Garland Company, to help. 

Lemere quickly identified a potential solution for The Zone. "Our Tuff-Coat acrylic architectural wall coating could check all the boxes for The Zone. It can dampproof the EIFS exterior, bridging the small cracks that had been spreading across the walls. Tuff-Coat can be custom color-matched, so we were optimistic we'd find the right look to capture the excitement the community had The Zone. And with its low-VOC formulation and ease of application, we know we could complete the project with minimal disruption to The Zone's day-to-day operations."

Move quickly and deliver on time

The project was bid in Spring 2022 for Fall work and leveraged RTPD’s membership in OMNIA Partners. Kearns knew the OMNIA Partners contract would help the bid run smoothly. “Like thousands of other public entities, we rely on our OMNIA Partners membership to deliver the best value across literally hundreds of different kinds of purchases,” said Kearns. “Being an OMNIA supplier for building projects made it really seamless to work with Garland, and gave us peace of mind that we would have the best available pricing to make our budget work.” With the contract in place, Lemere and the Garland technical team got to work matching the color and scheme for The Zone. The RTPD had selected a two-tone blue and gray scheme with sharp angles that would bring The Zone’s existing structural curves to life. While the gray was a standard offering for Tuff-Coat, the specific shade of blue would require custom color matching. RTPD provided a sample of the desired blue color, which was sent to Garland’s technical team in Cleveland for matching. The tech team was able to identify a specific shade of blue from a leading paint provider’s architectural fan deck, and formulation of “Zone Blue” began.

With all the pieces in place, the work could begin. Cracks were sealed first, followed by application of the Tuff-Coat. While Autumn weather in Illinois can be unpredictable, Lemere was not worried. “Tuff-Coat dries to touch in as little as 30 minutes, and to recoat in 2 hours, with excellent hang and adhesion to the EIFS. We knew we would be able to move quickly and deliver the project on time.” Garland partners with Naperville, IL contractor Futurity 19 on the project. Said Futurity 19’s Vice President, Jason Scherencel, “Our team had a great plan, and we were able to move really systematically through the project to deliver the crack repairs and the architectural look that River Trails Park District wanted. We’re proud to have played a part in a project that is such a destination for the local community.”

River Trails Park District 4

"It feels and looks brand new"

The new look for The Zone delivered on RTPD’s expectations for the project. Said Kearns, “It’s amazing that after having this facility in our portfolio for almost 20 years, it feels and looks brand new. We are excited that the sports and training that have finally given this site its purpose can now continue years into the future with a strong, durable exterior.”


Stay Connected

Receive project highlights like this one direct to your inbox, along with new product innovations, industry analysis, and more. Provide your email address to get started. 

Drone photos of the Pine Valley Middle School in San Ramon, CA