Standing outside the Country Hall of Fame, it is impossible not to notice the city’s newest marker — the Music City Center. The building towers next door and serves as yet another example of how the city is blending old with new. While the museum celebrates years past, the city’s new conference center represents a bold step into the future. 

After a lengthy RFP process, Major Commercial Cleaning secured the bid to provide Music City Center’s post-construction cleaning services. Though he declined to share numbers, the Music City Center project is by far the largest Stewart has ever had a hand in. 

Three years in the making, the Music City Center is perhaps the surest sign of Nashville’s evolution. Considered a major gamble by critics, the publicly financed $623 million construction project spans 16-acres and more than 1.2 million square feet of event space in the heart of downtown. That’s not including its sprawling green roof, or its 1,800-space parking garage. The building’s largest room, a multi-purpose exhibition hall, is more than 350,000 square feet, alone. 

Walking the floors of the facility it’s easy to see just how immense the task is. Major is responsible for vacuuming, sweeping, dusting, wiping and cleaning every foot of the building’s massive interior. That’s about four miles of flooring, more than 50 restrooms, and hundreds of SUCs (sinks, urinals and commodes), glass windows, walls and stairs to clean.  

Stewart says he wasn’t intimidated. He drew on his music business experience and together with his staff pored over architectural renderings and devised a takedown strategy.

“I approach things with a sense of urgency,” he says. “[On tour] you roll into town, the arena is empty. At 10 in the morning, you start setting up, sound check is at four, doors open at six, the show starts at eight. You have to be ready when the curtain comes up, or with our customers, the next day when they open.”

A crew of about a dozen or so workers have been stationed at the building since October, and have so far put more than 12,000 man hours into the project, says David Waterfield, vice president of business development, who along with DeJean oversee the project’s day-to-day operations. 

“It’s been our baby,” DeJean says. 

The Music City Center is slated to open in mid-May. On this day, workers were putting the finishing touches on construction, and several of the center’s public art displays were being hung or unveiled. Waterfield says Major’s cleaning crew will expand to 40 people in the last four weeks to accommodate the workload. 

“We still have about 30 percent to go,” says Waterfield. “We’re [working] two shifts, seven days a week. It can get stressful sometimes.” 

For example, in the one-million-square foot parking garage, inches of dirt left over from years of construction and exposure turned out to be too much for the company’s pressure washer to handle. The team had to quickly execute a Plan B. 

“We blasted the entire thing with a fire hose,” says Waterfield.

In some cases, Stewart says the construction crew would return to make modifications to an area and the cleaning team would have to go back and clean it all over again. Fortunately, this is a chargeable exchange. 

For now, Stewart and the rest of the team are just focused on getting the job done. 

“Time is closing in on us,” says Waterfield. “We’ll be leaving as the mayor comes through the doors.” 


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