Honoring a Fallen Officer
Masonry Installation and Care Products Become Part of a Permanent Memorial
By Art Mintie
Sometimes mortars, mixes and protective products are combined to simply create beautiful installations. Other times, these products are combined to serve a higher purpose.
Deputy Sheriff Jonathan Scott Pine, a two-year veteran of the Orange County (Fla.) sheriff’s office, was responding to a call of multiple car break-ins on Feb. 10, 2014, when he was shot and killed by the suspected burglar. Residents in the area were shocked and saddened by the event, so they came together to find a way to appropriately honor the sacrifice and memory of the Deputy Sheriff. The Homeowner’s Association (HOA) in the neighborhood where the shooting took place formed a committee to discuss the options. After evaluating a number of different recommendations, the committee agreed that the best tribute would be to design and install a permanent ground memorial replicating the fallen officer’s badge in a prominent location in the community.
The HOA president contacted Trinity Surfaces of Orlando, a local tile supplier, to discuss the idea and see if a project like this was possible. The tile supplier offered to donate the needed tiles and reached out to Jim Doane, a custom masonry contractor in Sanford, Fla., for installation. At the same time, Trinity Surfaces reached out to LATICRETE International, a family-owned manufacturer of construction solutions used in residential, commercial and industrial applications. LATICRETE offered to donate the necessary installation materials for the memorial, and the project quickly got under way.
“It’s impossible to take on a project like this one and not get personally involved,” says Doane, owner of Jimbo’s Creative Masonry. “Despite the short timeline and environmental challenges, there was no way any of us was going to let the community down. The tile supplier and LATICRETE eagerly donated the materials, and the finished memorial is beautiful.”
During the construction process, Doane faced a number of significant challenges. First and foremost was the very tight timeline: there were only 15 days from the time the project was approved to the night of the dedication ceremony, so he had to get from groundbreaking to finished memorial very quickly.
The second challenge was the surrounding landscape in the chosen installation location. The memorial was designed to fit in the center of an existing circular section of sidewalk, but that sidewalk was 13 inches (330 mm) higher on one side than the other, so he had to account for that difference as well as drainage needs.
The third challenge was the design of the walkway itself. The original design called for individual stepping stones to approach each side of the badge, but those stones would have been subject to movement. Therefore, to prevent any movement, Doane poured concrete footers upon which to set pre-cut tile.
The fourth and final challenge was the late arrival of the central medallion. The 36-inch (914-mm) center bronze medallion was being created in another location and would not arrive until the day before the dedication, so all tile placed ahead of time had to be measured and placed with the utmost accuracy to allow the medallion to be inserted at the final step.
To prepare for the tile installation on the memorial, Doane used STRATA_MAT™, a high-performance uncoupling membrane for use under ceramic tile and stone installations, for both residential and commercial applications. Designed to replace traditional underlayment materials, the unique patent-pending design of STRATA_MAT provides for an enhanced mechanical bond of the adhesive mortar and for faster drying of the mortar, allowing for shorter time to grout.
To install the selected tiles, Doane used 254™ Platinum, a one-step, polymer-fortified, thin-set mortar for interior and exterior installation of ceramic tile, stone, quarry tile, pavers and brick. 254 Platinum, designed to mix just with water, has a long open time with excellent adhesion and workability.
Once the tiles were in place, Doane used PERMACOLOR® Grout, a high-performance, fast-setting grout that provides a grout joint that is dense and hard, for all seams. It is color consistent, mixes with water only, and inhibits mold and mildew with anti-microbial technology.
Because of the significance of this memorial and the desire of all involved to ensure that it serves as a lasting tribute to Deputy Pine, Doane used LATASIL™, a high-performance, one-component, neutral-cure, 100% silicone sealant designed for ceramic tile and stone applications in wet areas. It is easy to smooth and tool, is equipped with fungicides to resist mold and mildew growth, is excellent for masonry construction and has exceptional movement capacity.
As a final step, STONETECH® BulletProof® Sealer was applied to preserve the natural look of the stone and provide protection against staining from environmental causes. It is a water-based sealer with advanced penetrating microbond protection that will keep the memorial looking beautiful and natural for many years to come.
“This was a tough job with a tight turnaround and a number of significant challenges,” says Sean Boyle, senior director of marketing and product management at LATICRETE, “but it was also one that carried a special significance for everyone involved. Having the opportunity to donate these materials and play a part in paying tribute to this officer was truly an honor, and each individual and company was instrumental in making this idea a reality. It really was a full team effort.”
The one thing everyone involved in this project had in common was a shared commitment to honoring the memory of Deputy Sheriff Jonathan Scott Pine in a meaningful and lasting way. All pieces were completed and installed in time to hold the dedication ceremony as planned, which was attended by the sheriff’s color guard, the deputy’s family, fellow Orange County officers, the Orange County mayor, hundreds of law enforcement and fire rescue personnel, and the residents of the HOA. The monument provides a permanent tribute to the officer’s sacrifice and will be a centerpiece of the community for years to come.
Originally published in Masonry magazine.
About the Author
Art Mintie, CSI, CDT is senior director, technical services for LATICRETE International Inc. He can be reached at email@example.com.