Working with Architect of Record Fred Doriot, Michael E. Pipkins was responsible for the creation and implementation of architectural drawing standards for the Hacienda Hotel & Casino as well as development of the master plan;
He was also responsible for design development; coordination of working drawings & processes with draftsmen; parking & code analysis; consultant coordination; detailing; exiting & accessibility analysis; construction documentation and all construction administration.
The Architectural project consisted of 40,000 sq. ft. casino expansion including a new restaurant and a world famous buffet. In addition, the remodel included 2 new casino bars, cashiers booths, entertainment lounge and a new convention facility.
A 10 Story (380 Room) High Rise Hotel Tower was designed to match and tie into the existing tower. A 2 story parking garage was also designed by the Architect but not constructed.
During the construction of the remodel it was discovered that a slow water leak at the existing casino bar (which may have lasted for 20+ years) had eventually sunk and compacted the soil underneath part of the casino.
The leak had lasted for so long, and the compaction was so great that the entire footing of one steel structural column was completely undermined and the existing footing was actually floating in mid air. Fortunately, the original engineers and contractor had done such a fine job that the structure was able to withstand the loss of that column support.
More evidence of the strength of the structure can be seen when the building was later imploded. The tower was so strong that it had to be imploded twice.