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By Mark S. Kuhar

FT RWSidley 400In downtown Cleveland, Ohio, the city’s 10-acre Public Square area is undergoing a dramatic, $37 million makeover – one of many ongoing construction projects being undertaken prior to the city hosting the 2016 Republican National Convention.

Designed by the famous New York landscape-architecture firm of James Corner Field Operations, co-designer of New York's celebrated High Line Park, among other projects, the renovation is aimed at transforming the square by unifying a space that was dominated by four traffic islands. It calls for removing Ontario Street, which runs north-south through the center of the square. A redesigned two-block stretch of another street, Superior Avenue, will remain in the center of the square, dividing it into two halves.

The north half of the new Public Square will be primarily green, with two hills rising gently at the northeast and northwest corners. The south half of the square will include a speaker's plaza, a splash zone and reflecting pool, an outdoor café and fresh landscaping around its centerpiece, the historic Soldiers and Sailors Monument, designed by architect Levi Scofield, and opened in 1894.

FT RWSIDLEY1 400As part of the renovation, paving contractor Cleveland Marble Mosaic Co. is installing imported marble paving stones for the walkways. But to do the 40,000-sq.-ft. job right, the company needed just the right sand – which it is mixing with cement – for use as a base. So they called Painesville, Ohio-based R.W. Sidley, which has served the regional construction and industrial markets as a major producer of high-quality aggregate products since 1938.

“They asked us to supply them with a product that met Ohio Department of Transportation specifications,” said Rob Sidley, the company’s vice president of aggregates. “We created a custom-blended sand, screened to tight tolerances that met their need.”

R.W. Sidley operates a state-of-the-art processing plant – its Thompson Quarry – that produces “high-quality silica products virtually free of deleterious materials,” according to the company. To make the product being used in the Public Square renovation, Sidley utilized its impressive dry screening capacity, which consists of four, five-deck MEV/Midwestern screens. The blended material is then sent to a rotary kiln dryer and finally stored before transport to the site. The company maintains 8,000 tons of storage silo capacity at its plant.

FT RWSIDLEY2 400The company also has a certified in-house quality control lab that insures quality and consistency through constant sampling and testing procedures.

“We are sending them six truckloads, one every two weeks,” Sidley said. “They are hand-setting the pavers, and have now set up tents at the site. They intend to work through the winter to meet the project’s target deadline.”

While it is not unusual for a customer to come to R.W. Sidley with a special request, it is not the company’s main market. “Our biggest market is drinking-water filter materials,” Sidley said.

R.W. Sidley offers its customers quartz filter media that “meets or exceeds AWWA Standards and the 10 state standards,” the company said. All Sidley filter media can be supplied in 50-lb.bags, super sacks, and in bulk quantities.

As a full-service supplier R.W. Sidley provides a broad range of construction solutions. The company not only manufactures and supplies bulk aggregates, industrial minerals, ready-mix concrete, masonry block products, structural and architectural precast components, and building supplies, it has been a Mack Trucks distributor since 1948.