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Renewing tradition

The University of North Carolina is preparing to welcome back collegiate football to Charlotte with a new stadium set to open in 2013

 

The last time there was a collegiate football game played on the grounds of The University of North Carolina at Charlotte was in 1948. For the past 64 years, students, faculty, and alumni have been waiting for the sport to return.

In 2006, efforts to establish a team began in earnest and are closer to becoming reality with the construction of a new stadium to be the home of the ‘49ers’ for their opening game on 31 August 2013.

Architect Jenkins•Peer Architects, and stadium designer, DLR Group, are designing the facility to create a dynamic game-day experience on campus for 49ers fans and student-athletes. The new stadium will capture everything game day is about, from tailgating to hospitality spaces, to great sightlines for viewing action on the field. Wide concourses and convenient amenities will add to the overall fan experience.

While the new football stadium will initially boast 15,000 seats, it is designed to grow with the programme. The long-term plans include an expansion of 25,000 seats. Full build-out of 40,000 seats includes premium seating, hospitality, and university functions found in premier stadia.

The challenge before the team was to plan, and build, a facility that is designed to easily accommodate future expansion. Like most projects of this nature, it’s what you don’t see that requires the most attention.

The project team was required to remove massive rock formations to accommodate the foundations, utilities, and the field. Scanning technology was used to verify rock quantities and assist the blasting process. The team worked closely with the client to implement strategic blast times and blasting levels that were below recommended tolerances in order not to interrupt nearby classroom lab experiments.

The project team used BIM/Civil 3D to coordinate the underground utilities around the footing pattern of the future expansion. The groundwater dewatering system is also a unique design, incorporating deep French drains to control the natural groundwater that occurs at the site near field level.

During preconstruction, the project team worked closely with the design team and our client to establish over 100 costs saving options that would not alter the intent of the complex. The team is also providing a 3D as-built model to the owner so that the location of utilities can be verified when the expansion is designed.

In addition to the stadium, the project includes training facilities at the stadium complex with two natural turf fields and a 45,000 square foot field house. The field house, located in the stadium’s south end zone with views to the field, creates enclosure for the stadium and is a focal point of the facility design. It includes team locker rooms, sports medicine, strength training, meeting rooms, coaches’ offices, academic spaces and other support facilities. A large outdoor terrace for hospitality events overlooks the football field.

On 31 August 2013, the stadium will welcome the 49ers, their opponents, and 15,000 fans who have been waiting a long time for that day to come.

PCL Construction Enterprises will be exhibiting at Stadia Design & Technology Expo 2012, 8-10 May 2012. Visit the company at Booth 1018

 

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