Impact 360 Institute Turns to Durable Outdoor Structures During COVID-19

In order to protect students from dramatic temperature swings and weather associated with the fall and winter seasons, Eric and the team at Impact 360 Institute set out to find a semi-permanent structure that could safely be anchored into concrete and designed to withstand a wind load of 70 miles per hour.

Initially, they had considered renting party tents to create covered outdoor dining and sitting areas, but were not satisfied with the look, using trash cans filled with sand and the amount of weight required to withstand gusts up to 70 miles per hour.

The team also considered installing shade sails to create a shaded area for students to gather outdoors safely. This idea was quickly decided against because it required the shade sails to be mounted directly into the building. According to Eric, “Our architects weren’t thrilled about the idea.”

“There was a tinge of desperation, but we weren’t going to make a mistake and buy the wrong thing. We needed to figure out a way to allow students to safely spend time outside. We have all sorts of porches and porticos, but there are two large open areas that would allow students to spread out and enjoy being outdoors, at least for a portion of their day. However, these two areas are sun-soaked.”

Eric explained that in addition to wanting an outdoor structure that offered superior stability, they also wanted a high roof to allow for greater air circulation. “We didn’t want to be under the structure, and it be hot.”

As luck would have it (or perhaps a bit of divine intervention?), a medical trip to a nearby Emory Healthcare facility resulted in Eric learning about WeatherPort® Shelter Systems (WeatherPort). The urgent care facility was using a WeatherPort Jubilee structure for patient screening and as a drive-through COVID-19 testing station. Upon seeing the outdoor structure, Eric asked the staff to do everything he could to find out where they got their tents.

According to Eric, “We were really grateful for finding you guys [WeatherPort]! Within 72 hours of learning that you had portable buildings in the sizes we needed in stock, we committed that we wanted them, and priority overnight delivery got the structures here the next day. They sat on our campus one day, and the next day they were being installed. We moved quickly on this.”

When asked how the assembly of their WeatherPort outdoor dining and classroom structures went, Eric said that he outsourced the installation to an experienced contractor. “I have a very fantastic Associate Director of Facilities. However, with all the things related to COVID going on, I wasn’t able to allocate the personnel and time for the setup.”

Impact 360 Institute has been using the outdoor classroom structures and covered dining areas for a little over two months. When asked about the quality and overall experience of working with WeatherPort, Eric offered the following statement:

“The outdoor structures are superior. The vinyl straps extend to the base and the fabric, the stretch makes the structures look very nice. The fabric material is very thick and holds its shape. It’s a league of its own. You get what you pay for. They are not cheap, but it is quality, and you know it will last. We feel very confident that it will withstand the winds and the elements it is rated to stand against.”

“Everything was consistent. The way that Carolyn (the WeatherPort building specialist) interacted with us, the payment processing, the fact that the documentation was so good — there were no surprises. You were consistently building your brand through each of those interactions and building our confidence. By the time the structures got here, and we got them up, we felt very good about our investment. Kudos to the WeatherPort Team!”

Nearly 300 graduates have completed the Impact 360 Institute’s gap year program. Students come from the United States and internationally attended to become motivated “changers” on college campuses and in life. If you would like more information about the Impact 360 Institute and their gap year program, please use the following:



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