News: Fayetteville sign maker leaving his mark on new FORSCOM/USARC headquarters
Story by Timothy Hale
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. – A few years ago, a local sign maker sat in his truck on what was then a basically blank canvas of dirt at the corner of Knox and Randolph streets on Fort Bragg.
He envisioned what would become a 632,000 square feet, six story joint headquarters building for U.S. Army Forces Command and U.S. Army Reserve Command as part of the congressionally mandated 2005 Base Realignment and Closure action.
“I remember thinking to myself, ‘I would be so upset and depressed if I had to come to Fort Bragg everyday and drive by this building and not have anything to do with it’,” said Matt Blashfield, owner of Blashfield Sign Company, Inc.
He would receive his answer two days before Christmas Eve – he had been awarded the contract to make all the signage for the new building.
“I fought harder for this contract than anything I’ve ever fought for in my business career. It was just a fantastic Christmas present,” he said.
His company’s sign-making magic goes through the concept, engineering, design, construction and colorization phases just a few blocks from the historic district in downtown Fayetteville. Installers then transport, deliver and install the signs for the client.
But his biggest client to date at Fort Bragg or Pope Army Airfield is by far the combined FORSCOM/USARC headquarters.
Of the over $304 million contract for the entire construction of the joint headquarters Blashfield said approximately $500 thousand was awarded to his company for signage.
“We’re one of the small guys overall in that [construction budget] picture but our product leaves a lasting impression because it adds to the finishing look and details of that building,” he said.
And speaking of big, the largest sign that will be installed inside the building really isn’t a sign at all.
Measuring at nine feet in diameter, Blashfield and his team are replicating the official seal of the U.S. Army in all its full detail and glory. The official seal will welcome visitors to the headquarters as they enter the atrium from the Knox Road entrance.
“It’s probably going to be the most prominent fixture in the building when it comes to signage,” he said. “People will be able to walk right up to it and touch it. “
Blashfield said the seal is constructed from six pieces of high-density urethane base, which are then bonded together with epoxy.
“It will be primed, painted and finished then integrated with heat formed polycarbonate sections with some laser cut and router cut acrylic sections that create the finished detail on it.”
But while Blashfield and his team do enjoy seeing their work when they drive around the post, what they provide to the troops stationed here runs a little deeper.
“We couldn’t be more proud to be able to contribute to the cause, so to speak,” he said. “I know what these guys go through. I grew up in a military family. We’re just incredibly proud to be a part of anything that goes on at Fort Bragg.”