National Western Center Campus Redevelopment


Best Project

Submitted by: Ames Construction

Owner: City and County of Denver; Mayor’s Office of the National Western Center (NWCO)

Lead Design Firm: Merrick and Co.

General Contractor: Hensel Phelps

Owner's Representative: Jacobs Engineering

Prime Subcontractor: Ames Construction Inc.

Subcontractors: American Striping Co.; Brightview Landscape Development Inc.; Brundage Bone Concrete Pumping; E2 Optics; Earth Services & Abatement Inc.; Garney Cos. Inc.; Garza Concrete Structures Inc.; Hydrodig Denver LLC; Legacy Traffic Management LLC; Loya Construction Inc.; LT Environmental Inc.; MBR Electric Inc.; QP Services LLC; RAM-CO Trucking; Raven CLI Construction Inc.; RK Water LLC

The 250-acre National Western Center sits on the historic grounds of the National Western Stock Show. This $104-million project upgraded horizontal infrastructure, preserved historical structures and prepared the campus for construction of new indoor and outdoor spaces.

Scope of work at the 598,000-sq-ft Stockyards Events Center included salvaging existing stock show cattle pens and 35,000 sq ft of pavers, installing 940 linear ft of 78-in. reinforced concrete pipe and preparing the building pad site for vertical construction. Ames also realigned 14,000 linear ft of Denver Rock Island Railroad track that bisects the campus to a new alignment outside of the campus footprint, improved Bettie Cram Drive and built two pad-ready sites for Colorado State University’s new facilities.

Additional work included the new three-span, 257-ft 51st Avenue Bridge—constructed with 84-ft precast/prestressed concrete box girders—along with new drainage and utilities, final pad-ready sites and the relocation of 4,500 linear ft of National Western Drive. Work finished within budget and on time in September 2022.

The open-air exhibition area, used for livestock exhibition pens during the annual stock show, will be used year-round for a variety of educational and entertainment purposes. Recognizing the unique sanitary challenges of surface water runoff during animal events, crews built a custom drainage collection system for the exhibition area to protect the South Platte River from potentially contaminated stormwater runoff.

National Western Center Campus Redevelopment

Photo courtesy Ames Construction

Approximately one mile of fused high-density polyethylene supply and return lines will support the Delgany Interceptor, a major wastewater transmission line, from which the campus will source nearly 90% of its heating and cooling. Ames and Garney Construction teamed up to relocate the interceptor, which could only be performed during the low-flow period between November and May. The original schedule planned on using low-flow periods over two work seasons to complete the work, but the contractors were able to resequence, accelerate and complete the relocation in one season. A future central utility plant will handle the heat transfer system and help reduce emissions on campus by nearly 2,600 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year.