Nashville's new convention center, the Music City Center, opens in mid-May. One of the most prominent features of the facility is its copper-colored sheets of metal forming the guitar on the roof and front of the facade.
The panels, all 18,000 of them, were manufactured and installed by a Nashville company that's celebrating its 75th year in business. The MCC project was worth $4.5 million to the company.
The John W. McDougall Company used a workforce of more than 50 people to engineer, manufacture and install the copper-colored panels, which are made of two thin sheets of aluminum with a core of thermoplastic. The project took more than 18 months.
Alec McDougall is the third-generation CEO of the family-owned company.
"It meant a lot to us. It was a big job. It kept us busy for a year and a half. It enabled us to continue to work guys. It's been good," McDougall said.
The company was started by his grandfather in 1938 when it was located in a little shop on Elliston Place where the Exit/In club is now.
Things have changed in lot in 75 years, and now the machines used to cut the panels are programmed by a draftsman on a computer.
The company has done work all over the country, including in Alaska. One of their most famous projects is the EPCOT dome at Disney World.
McDougall is proud to have a project close to home.
"When I'm driving down the interstate I look over there and we can see our panels up there. It gives us a lot of excitement," he said.
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