As most of you know, and probably have seen from social media or driving by, Weston Playhouse Theatre Company is building a new theatre space. We have a great crew working on the construction of The Center of the Arts at Walker Farm. At the center of everything is site superintendent, Ryan Ahern. We asked him a few questions to get an idea of how he came to be working with us and about the building from a construction perspective.
Ryan has been in the construction business for 18 years playing many different roles, from laborer to field engineer. He started working in construction when, at age 14, his mother purchased an apartment building, encouraging Ryan and his brother to do all the renovations. His mother is also the one that encouraged him to attend a trade school in order to learn carpentry. He took an apprenticeship with R.M. Cochran, where Robert Cochran mentored him in the business side of construction. He’s worked on sites across the nation, from Boston to Los Angeles, giving him experience on a wide variety of projects and teams.
When asked what a typical day for him at the site looks like, Ryan replied, “The typical day is not usually typical.” He leads a team of many workers, contractors, and vendors, all with their own unique methods and beliefs, meaning Ryan has to make sure all of these people and pieces work together effectively and safely in order to meet all build deadlines. “My overall job is to motivate the field to perform work while keeping them safe at the same time, then also finishing the project by the deadlines.” The building itself is a unique as well, due to the fact that it is a piece of art, that also has functionality. “This project is not a huge building but has a lot of detail and beauty that takes a great deal of attention.”
From schedule adjustments to phone calls and site tours, coordinating people and materials can take up a lot of time but any time we have a question Ryan is always right there to jump in with the answer. He told us this particular project is exciting because there are things that need to be taken into account that aren’t relevant to regular buildings. “Sound, lighting and impact on those experiencing the space are all critical. This will be a structure that many visitors will look at over the years and I am excited to put my work on display.”
We asked Ryan what inspires him about our project. “I like working on projects that a community and client are excited about.” Needless to say we’re extremely excited about all the possibilities that this theatre will provide for our company and the community. In addition to the project itself, there is also a person in Ryan’s life that inspires him. “I am also inspired by my son Lion who at age 8 still thinks his dad is cool for building things where nothing but a field existed before. He inspires me to be a better person everyday.”
We want to thank Ryan, all of the workers over at the construction site, and everyone that is helping to make our dream of a new theatre space a reality. For more information about the Walker project, our plans for the new space, and even an animated tour of the new space visit http://www.westonplayhouse.org/about/the-future. For information about how to contribute to the project visit http://www.westonplayhouse.org/support/campaign-for-weston-theatre.