Benchmark Foam Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) Helps Stage Church Play Performance

St. Gerard's Church StageJim Vanderheyden and his family are actively involved with The Church of St. Gerard Parish in Brooklyn Park, Minn. When it came time to produce the parish’s annual 2011 youth play performance, Jim realized that the stage could be enhanced to accommodate the production. In particular, multiple steps were required for performers to mount as they moved about the stage portraying the story.

Searching online for a suitable construction product that would be light enough for stage hands to quickly and easily assemble or move from place to place, Jim hit upon the Benchmark Foam Website ( featuring lightweight expanded polystyrene (EPS) “foam”. Realizing that his quest was over, Jim quickly placed a call to the sales staff at Benchmark. 

Working together, Jim and Mike Dylla of Benchmark went to work on what became known as the St. Gerard’s Stage project. Mike determined the best product that would help keep construction costs down. Then measurements and calculations were quickly computed to determine the amount of correctly sized EPS blocks Jim would need to construct the stage components on site. 

The rest of the story is Jim’s to tell. We quote from his email expressing his appreciation for how well the project came together:

“April 04, 2011

Hi Mike,
Jim Vanderheyden here from the St. Gerards Stage Project.
I just wanted to say, Mike, that our stage turned out every bit as good as we had hoped and perhaps even better than hoped!!
Your guys just did a fantastic job at meeting all of our many requirements, especially all of the 4 different thicknesses and the 13 different lengths and widths.  Everything turned out just as designed and planned.  We added carpet to all of the visible surfaces, and so it really has the professional look!!!!  Many compliments were received on the total job.
You guys delivered when you said you would.  The foam with plywood glued on top of it, gives a very sturdy surface, and as you said, you could drive a pick up truck on it.  That word of yours, Mike, made the whole job worth the risk.  Without that bit of truth at the outset, I am not sure we would have tried it.
Foam for this particular purpose, was absolutely the perfect choice.  We have now assembled and disassembled the stage twice.  It is not back breaking, because even the largest pieces 6″ x 4′ x 10′, only weigh 84 pounds (including the 4 x 10  1/2″ plywood on top of them), and are easily handled by 2 people.  All of the other pieces are much lighter and even easier to handle.  Once we get the blocks of material at the stage site, with a few guys, we can assemble this stage in just a matter of 20 – 30 minutes, including 10 pieces of hardware and rolling out the top deck carpet.
All of us here at St. Gerards want to thank you and Benchmark Foam, Mike, for the great service, price, quality, and delivery of your product!! It has truly been a pleasure dealing with you folks there!  Any time you need a reference, just have people give me a call and I will be happy to fill them in on your company, product, and personal service.  You really helped make this experiment happen, Mike!!”

St. Gerard's Church Stage 2Working with Jim on the St. Gerard’s Stage Project was a perfect example of what the staff at Benchmark Foam do on a daily basis – working to fulfill needs whether for a unique project such as Jim’s or for general residential/commercial construction developments. Give the Benchmark team a call today at 605-886-8086 or 800-658-3444. Tell them about your project’s particular requirements. They can become an effective part of your team as they work with you to satisfy needs in a timely manner – from planning stage through delivery. It’s their guarantee!

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