Things are continuing to come together at Rainbow Lake Playground, despite some wet weather throughout February. Crews from ViktorHall Construction have continued to work on the underground drainage system, as well as reconfiguring the entrance gates using the existing stone from the playground wall.
Coming up soon, they’ll begin to dismantle the equipment that’s currently at the playground so that they can begin building and installing the new structures. Originally, we had planned to reuse some of the existing equipment as part of the new climbing structures. But when crews removed the pebble surfacing, it was obvious that the wooden structures were too rotten at their bases to be safely reused. The new drainage systems will prevent water pooling around the bases when the new equipment is installed.
We continue to push toward the goal of fully funding the playground before springtime. In our January update, we told you about a $10,000 gift that was pledged to the playground if we could match those funds. We’re thrilled to announce that we’ve raised $9,500 toward that $10,000 goal! We only need $500 to unlock these matching funds. Will your gift be the one that puts us over the top? Why not find out? You can donate here.
We’re so happy to be working with ViktorHall Construction on this project. They’re a local company, founded by Thomas Szymanek, and they’re also working on some other great projects around town. (We’re particularly excited to see what they’ve done with the Old Chicago Pizza Factory in Overton Square, which will reopen as Chiwawa this year and serve hot dogs and Mexican food.) We sat down with Thomas to talk about the company and why he’s excited to be part of remaking Rainbow Lake Playground.
So who is Viktor Hall?
Viktor Hall is actually two people who heavily influenced Thomas and his approach to business. Viktor is his father, who taught him the value of honesty and hard work. The other half of the name comes from Howard Hall, a contractor who built more than 80 hotels, beginning his career constructing for Kemmons Wilson Companies. When Thomas started his business in 2004 as TPS Construction, he was working primarily on residential projects. On one renovation, he met Howard, who was working as an inspector. Thomas had been interested in getting into commercial construction, and Howard took him under his wing and helped him get started. In 2010, Thomas joined up with his uncle, an engineer, and changed the name of the company to ViktorHall Construction.
What’s the coolest part of the Rainbow Lake Playground project?
Thomas says he can’t wait to see the finished Big Green Mound. Artist Bernhard Meck is working on the concrete tunnel that will make up the bulk of this feature. Once it’s installed, ViktorHall crews will build a grassy mound on top of the tunnel, as well as installing a slide and sand pit.
In addition, Thomas and his wife welcomed their first child three weeks ago. He says he can’t wait to bring Matthew to the playground someday and tell him, “Your dad built that!” Thomas lived across the street from Overton Park as a child, so he has many memories of playing in the park that he hopes to pass along to his son.
What kinds of work does ViktorHall do?
At Rainbow Lake Playground, crews have handled everything except electrical, plumbing, mechanical, and concrete, which they hire out to subcontractors. They’ve been digging trenches, reshaping stonework, and building new equipment, to name just a few things. The company has 17 employees, several of whom are regular fixtures at the playground. Some of their other current projects include construction on Chiwawa, a tornado shelter in Moscow TN, the Germantown Fleet Maintenance Building, and work in May Park in Memphis.
Thomas says he prides himself on a company of hard, honest workers who commit themselves to every project. He’s excited to call Rainbow Lake Playground his first playground renovation, and hopes everyone is pleased with the results when it reopens this spring.