Recently, the PartySavvy team was honored to be an integral part of a groundbreaking event for the Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing (ARM) Institute at CMU. The unique event marked the beginning of construction for a one-of-a-kind hub for advanced manufacturing, which will combine the expertise and resources of researchers, the U.S. Defense Department, and companies from across the area.

“By bringing together large-scale academic research and industrial development under one roof, Mill 19 will become a true differentiator for Pittsburgh and for the region,” CMU Interim President Farnam Jahanian commented, according to “When complete, it will be the first manufacturing hub of its kind in the nation — in the world, for that matter.”

The groundbreaking event took place at Hazelwood Green, (formerly known as the Almono site), in Hazelwood, PA, inside the skeleton of a former Jones & Laughlin Steel Company mill, known as Mill 19, which has been idle for many years. This construction site provided an unusual and challenging setting for this very high-profile event, which was attended by many important figures from CMU, along with numerous dignitaries.

The planning period for this November 20th event was very short and took place over several weeks in October and November. We had multiple on-site meetings with the event organizers and vendors to work out the logistics of this large event. Below you can see some of the CAD drawings and renderings produced by Three Rivers Entertainment & Production, the company that provided all of the AV, lighting, and power distribution services for the event. Another key vendor partner was the Push 7 Agency; they helped with many aspects of the event, including the design of the robotics demo space, signage, video presentations, etc. The event planning / production team was under the direction of the CMU university events staff, as well as the project construction manager for CMU, and a number of key people from Turner Construction.

hazelwood green cmu cad drawing cmu groundbreaking rendering mill 19

The set up took four long days to complete, and required our team, as well as our subcontractors, other vendors, and the CMU staff to put in some very long hours to ensure not a single detail was overlooked. The main event tent was a 66’x148’ clear span structure, which was anchored to the mill’s concrete floor with large concrete blocks (approximately 7000 pounds each) and water ballasts. The tent was separated into three distinct sections, (registration, robotics demonstrations & reception area, and the assembly space) to meet the event’s specific needs. The spaces were separated by installing interior walls from floor to ceiling, complete with glass doors for movement from one section to the next. The registration and demo areas had white tops and sidewalls, while the assembly area featured a clear top and walls, as well a glass wall behind the stage, which provided the guests with a great view of the banner raising, which was an important feature of the presentation.

hazelwood green groundbreaking setup

Our team was also responsible for the structure’s heating, flooring, and carpeting, as well a catering prep tent, tables, chairs, staging, coat racks, and more.

mill 19 cmu groundbreaking

We were privileged to work with CMU, Turner Construction (the mill’s general contractor who prepared the area to help us make this event a reality), and all of the other involved vendors. We all worked seamlessly in a short window to produce a beautiful event.

See more photos of the CMU groundbreaking event here.

For events of every shape and size, PartySavvy is committed to making your vision come to life. Contact us today!

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