ABC Gold Medal Winner

As is so often the case in Metal Wall Projects, the Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Experience finds its look and identity in the Metal Walls that were masterfully installed by Malone Metal Wall Division personnel.

From fabrication to installation, Malone takes great pride in the character of a building coming from its Metal Walls, and that is exactly what you find at the Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Experience. The project was particular unique for Malone because of the angles, the sheer size and number of panels, and the fact that it was Malone’s first project using a beautiful copper anodized aluminum panel.

The project had nearly 26,000 square feet of panels, with nearly 3,000 panels, and with 316 different sizes of panels. In terms of materials, the project consisted of .080 aluminum plate panel system in two finishes, one being clear anodized and the other being a post copper anodized aluminum panel.

Simply put, the copper anode was injected into the pores of the aluminum panels. The more technical answer is that anodizing is an electrochemical process that converts the metal surface into a decorative, durable, corrosion-resistant, anodic oxide finish.

Aluminum is ideally suited to anodizing, although other nonferrous metals, such as magnesium and titanium, also can be anodized. The look of the copper anodized panels lends itself to non-uniformity. That variety in copper shades that you see in the finished pictures of this project is what the owners were looking for. Also, copper anodized aluminum, does not patina like copper and is stable over time and with UV exposure.

As is so often the case when installing metal wall panels, Malone is one of the last contractors on the job. Therefore, if the project falls a little (or significantly) behind schedule, Malone Metal Walls are the crew that make up the time and make sure that the doors open on schedule.

Issues such as steel fabrication errors, weather, glass, and so on can delay execution, and Malone Metal Wall division must wait till near 100 percent completion to begin their process. Near full completion means, the sheathing must be on, window mullions must be in place and so on.

It seems that installation should begin immediately upon every other contractors’ completion, nevertheless, this is the stage where field measurements are taken, then fabrication and install can begin of our metal wall panel system. This particular project had a really long fabrication lead time of 6 to 8 weeks.

The MS Arts and Entertainment Experience required 4 different sets of field measurements and panels were fabricated by Dri-Design and shipped to Malone on 4 separate occasions.

Usually, Malone fabricates most all of their panels, but when they don’t, Malone must rely on the schedule of the supplier. Malone’s ability to fabricate panels is one of the many benefits they can use to stay on schedule and troubleshoot any unforeseen difficulties that may arise.

The teams that install the studs, steel and everything else (between the beginning of the structure going up to the field measurements being taken) need to be extremely precise. Sometimes metal wall panel teams must overcome projects being out of square from the original plans.

Keep in mind, a building can be out of square and fully functional, except for how it’s clad. Metal wall panels are so precise because every single panel is a custom fabricated panel.

Therefore, not only are metal walls panel crews responsible for the look of the building, they must also make up for any leniency in standards of other trade professions.

On May 19, 2017, the panels were carefully installed using equipment such as; man-lifts and scaffolding to access the scope of work. The project was completed July 3, 2018.

According to Jackson’s Clarion-Ledger newspaper, the Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Experience, or “The MAX”, came at a price tag of $50 million. In 2014, the museum’s board of directors commissioned a study that indicated approximately 13 million travelers come within one mile of the site on Interstate 20 each year.

The study, completed by Owens Economics, LLC, also estimated that the museum eventually could have an annual impact of more than $100 million on the local economy. Those projections convinced the state Legislature, which has allocated $29 million in funding, that The MAX was a worthwhile investment.

The institution is funded by state and local governments and private donors. It aims to transcend being a static museum, focusing on live programming such as music, dance, art classes, writing workshops and even yoga.

“This is a ‘do touch’ museum,” CEO Mark Tullos told The Meridian Star during a recent preview tour, as he described a large stained-glass painting in the museum’s church display.

Meridian follows in the footsteps of other Mississippi communities seeking to bank on their cultural heritage. Communities hope to draw tourists who will stay at hotels and spend money in stores and restaurants, providing an economic boost.

The MAX, as backers call it, aims to anchor some of that tourism, suggesting driving tours of arts-related sites across the state. The 58,000 square-foot glass-faced and metal walled building is tucked in between the railroad tracks and Front Street in downtown Meridian.

Admission is $14 for adults, $12 for students, seniors and active military members and $8 for children ages 6 to 17. Children 5 and under are free.


26,000 Approximate total square feet of Dri-Design panels on the project

3,000 Approximate total number of Dri-Design panels on the job

316 Total number of the different sizes of Dri-Design panels on the project