ORLAND — Freshwater Stone announced completion Tuesday of a 60-ton sculpture for the FBI Quantico Memorial Garden.
“It’s easily the most complex project we’ve ever worked on,” said Jeff Gammelin, who founded the company with his wife, Candy, in 1976.
The sculpture will stand as the focal point of a memorial garden and courtyard to be installed this year at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Va.
The three-sided sculpture, which has the general shape of a propeller, is 14 feet tall and 23 feet wide from point to point. It was built from 60 tons of black granite called Virginia Mist.
The sculpture is composed of 15 stones, several weighing over 10,000 pounds each. The average weight of each stone is 8,100 pounds, or four tons.
The company built a 25-by-25-foot concrete pad on which to build the sculpture before it’s shipped out. A 3-D printer was used to create models of the sculpture to help with the design and handling.
John Horton, architectural stone manager at Freshwater, traveled to Virginia to help select the Virginia Mist granite from the quarry.
“There’s not a lot of places in the country that can do this work,” Horton said.
Everyone involved in the project has had to pass background checks, Horton said.
No one could talk about the project while construction was ongoing, Gammelin said. The company had to sign non-disclosure agreements and only recently got the OK to discuss the project.
In addition to honoring the FBI and its history and principles, there are quotes from J. Edgar Hoover and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. engraved on the walls of the monument.
That’s where Bucksport Monuments and Sandblasting comes in.
Owner Chuck Downes and his crew have been doing the finish work on the stones as well as engraving them.
“Downes works with Freshwater on a lot of specialty projects,” Horton said.
“Fidelity, Bravery and Integrity,” have been engraved on one face of the sculpture.
“Knowledge, Courage, Integrity,” are engraved on another face.
The FBI seal adorns one facet of the sculpture’s highest face and the academy’s seal graces the other.
“It was a team effort to get the project completed,” said Freshwater General Manager Andy Odeen. “It really tested all our capabilities.”
Horton said two stone workers in particular were heavily involved with the project, Adam Hess, Freshwater’s former saw operator, and Matt Durant, who works on project development.
Hess began cutting the stone last March. The 121,591 pounds of stone were precisely cut to within 1 millimeter of the computer model.
Freshwater used its newest five-axis saw to create the complex shapes of each piece of stone.
Steuben sculptor Jesse Salisbury also was involved in the project.
Freshwater was approached by CCI, a subsidiary of Bristol Bay Native Corp., to see if the business was interested in a government project. A design team led by Wood E&IS at its Portland, Maine, location as well as landscape architect Studioverde, designed the final configuration.
Over several weeks, Freshwater’s engineers helped refine the design to take advantage of the specific properties that granite brings to such a project and the monolithic sculpture began to take form, the company said.
Freshwater was to begin disassembling the sculpture Wednesday to ready it for transport to Virginia.
Horton said at least seven flat bed trucks would be needed to transport the stone to Virginia where Freshwater’s crew will reassemble the creation.