The Charlotte Knights have barely left the field for the year, but one change is already underway for next season—a facelift for the massive signature baseball water tank that dominates their South Carolina community.
York County, SC, will spend $83,000 in water and sewer maintenance funds to repair and repaint the famous spheroid tank, which is 130 feet tall and sits atop a 90-foot column. The Knights have agreed to chip in $3,200 to repaint the white tank’s signature baseball stitches.
The Knights initially had hoped to add their logo to the baseball, but the parties eventually decided against it—the team, because it wasn’t sure about the logo; the county, because it didn’t want to have to repaint if the Knights left the county, according to published reports.
The Triple-A team for the Chicago White Sox, the Knights have long hoped to move from the suburbs to downtown Charlotte, but team officials say that’s not in the cards after a couple of years with decreasing attendance and flat revenues.
"We've had to re-look at the financing model and the cost of construction," general manager Dan Rajkowski told heraldonline.com.
In 2009, the team signed a four-year lease on its current site in Fort Mill, and announced that it would upgrade the facility.
‘A Tricky Job’
Fisher Tank Co. of Leesville, SC, will complete the restoration of the 21-year-old, 250,000-gallon water tank.
The tank’s shape and 7,000-square-foot size will make the recoating “a tricky job,” says the contractor. “The rigging and painting will definitely be challenging.”
The recoating job is scheduled to begin soon and will take a crew of four to six men about six weeks, said Fisher Tank, an employee-owned company that has served the storage tank industry since 1948. Planning has been underway for weeks.
For rigging, Fisher Tank is planning on using a suspended scaffold system that the company has specially engineered for this job. The bracket system, pre-fabricated and made of steel, is attached to the top of the tank, with safety lines on independent anchorage points, the company said.
The rigging is designed to meet all of OSHA safety local, state, and federal requirements. Alternate methods may be required as circumstances dictate, the company noted.
Coatings and Application
The paint is being supplied by Tnemec Co. The interior will be abrasive-blast cleaned, followed by one stripe coat applied over the seams and finished by two full coats. The coating—a Potable Water two-part Epoxy—will be sprayed.
The exterior coating, HydroFlon, is a three-coat epoxy urethane system with a gloss finish. The advanced thermoset solution fluoropolymer is designed for tanks and exposed steel. Fisher said the coating provides superior resistance to ultraviolet light and abrasion, as well as long-term color retention and long maintenance-free cycles.
The tank’s exterior will be pressure washed, then a spot coat applied over seams and spots, followed by an intermediate coat and a finish coat, all brushed and rolled.
The final touch will be the baseball stitching, which will use HydroFlon in the current stitching color. The same rigging system will be used to perform this artistic work. Brushed and rolled again, this final step will take at least two days. After three coats, the old design is unlikely to show through the new paint and will have to be penciled out first, then free-hand brushed.