Updating to the latest in sports training technology was the driving force behind the University of Georgia's $40-million Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall expansion project in Athens. Home of the University of Georgia's Bulldogs football team, the project transforms the existing 24-year-old complex into a modern, state-of-the-art sports facility.
“The toughest challenge was the schedule,” says Will Gaither, project manager for Brasfield & Gorrie, the general contractor. “Multiple revisions to the phasing plan to accommodate the owner's request and the football team was a hurdle.”
Brasfield & Gorrie made every deadline, working around game and practice schedules, and completed the project with no lost-time accidents. The company began the expansion and renovation in July 2009 and completed the project on time in May 2011.
The new facility includes a digital film system; a 12,000-sq-ft strength and conditioning area; a 20-yd by 60-yd indoor turf-field area with 30-foot-tall ceilings that is also capable of hosting meetings with up to 500 guests; a 1,900-sq-ft student-athlete lounge; new coaching offices and meeting rooms; and an outdoor plaza.
The expansion provides 8,500 sq ft for athletic training as well as two new physical exam rooms. To enhance the facility's flexibility, roll-up doors were included for the indoor practice field, allowing for a natural Southern summer environment indoors.
In order to renovate the existing mechanical room, the company brought in a temporary chiller, which it hooked up to the building system, allowing the team to demolish the old while keeping the facility climate-controlled. During a five-day holiday break, Brasfield & Gorrie removed the existing air-handling unit's fan, bank of coils and bank of filters and reinstalled new equipment. A 135,000-gallon underground cistern holds water for irrigating the outdoor practice fields.
As with most renovations, Gaither says, limited information existed for the 1980s-era building. “It seemed every time we stuck a shovel in the ground, we uncovered something we didn't realize was there.”
Owner: University of Georgia Athletic Association, Athens, Ga.
Contractor: Brasfield & Gorrie, Kennesaw, Ga.
Architect: Menefee & Winer Architects, Atlanta
Civil Engineer: Travis Pruitt & Associates, Norcross, Ga.
Structural Engineer: KSI, Atlanta
MEP Engineer: Johnson, Spellman & Associates, Norcross, Ga.
Brasfield & Gorrie