Last Summer, KC Tent & Awning had the privilege of participating in a project with Mac McCoy and Antioch Church of Overland Park, KS to upgrade an underutilized rooftop terrace to more usable space. While shade projects are what we do everyday here at KCT&A, this project was unique because the rooftop was in Guatemala and the client was K!ds N Missions, a non-profit organization out of the Tulsa, OK area.
K!ds N Missions was founded by Elton and Gail Wells. The organization has a unique approach to fulfilling the Great Commission. Their focus is to train youth throughout the world to be leaders in their communities. Knowing that the greatest way to reach youth is through their peers. They host youth groups from all over the world and the organization has ministered to more than 25,000 people this year alone!
Their facility has the capacity to host groups of up to 60. But the demand for their program is strong and they wanted to be able to facilitate more students per trip. They needed to add square footage. Their rooftop had the space, but the Guatemalan sun is too intense for most of the daytime hours to be a practical space to hold classes.
Mac went to work on a solution for how to make the terrace more usable. Mac is the Director of Operations at HOK architects and has practical knowledge for unusual projects. He worked with Mike, our owner, to design and plan a canopy system that could be manually retracted.
Practicality dictated that the frame would have to be built locally as it would be too heavy to transport. But the canvas panels were able to be cut and sewn in our Midwest facility and transported in custom canvas bags that we designed to make them easy to transport. Weighing in at around 90 pounds each, Mac and a team of 12 men flew with them from KC to Guatemala to get to work.
The installation had a few challenges as they installed canvas to frame and worked to make sure the awning could easily retract during evening hours. Ingenuity prevailed and the installed system works like a charm.
In addition to the canopy, the group added some seating, planters and a custom flag designed locally by All Nations Flag. In total, the canopy added an additional 800 square feet and the rooftop project added a total of 2,000 square feet of usable space to the facility.
Thanks to the dedication of Mac and his team, our awning designers and artists, and all of the volunteers who helped with the project, K!ds N Missions is able to host an additional 100 students on the rooftop – more than twice what they can host indoors.
When we get to help our customers expand their usable spaces in either their homes or businesses, it’s always a great feeling. But the exponential impact of this project is unique because our involvement will allow this organization to reach more people over many years. And the training they do will allow those people to also reach more people. The ripple effect is inspiring. And we’re grateful to Mac and the Wells’ for letting our work be a part of the important work that they’re doing.