Western Specialty Contractors Tackles Tough Restoration Project at Auburn University
Western Specialty Contractors – Atlanta Branch recently tackled the job of restoring the stadium at Auburn University.
The iconic stadium was originally dedicated on Thanksgiving Day, 1939, before the first varsity football game was played. Although known primarily as a venue for football, the stadium has also hosted appearances by evangelist Billy Graham and musicians James Brown, The Beach Boys, Miranda Lambert, and Kenny Chesney, among others, throughout its history.
The concrete stadium seats 87,451 people and is one of the top 15 largest college stadiums in the U.S. Expanded 14 times since its original construction, with significant renovations in 2004 and 2017, the stadium required restoration and maintenance to prepare it for the 2022-23 football season.
Most sports stadiums and arenas in the United States are made of reinforced and precast concrete with steel seating supports and railings. Unfortunately, an even more universal characteristic is their openness and vulnerability to the elements — in addition to the wear and tear they receive from fans — all of these forces take a toll on a stadium’s structural integrity.
Without routine maintenance and protection, these concrete structures are subject to cracking, spalling, and structural damage from movement and reoccurring freeze and thaw cycles.
Western Specialty Contractors worked with Project Engineer Stephen Ward & Associates of Madison, AL, to analyze the type and extent of damage present in the stadium and recommend cost-effective, remedial measures to extend the facility’s life and keep fans safe. Cutting-edge, long-wearing deck coatings are often recommended to restore a stadium and protect it from future damage.
Western switched the primer on the treads to an epoxy primer due to the concrete having a concrete surface profile (CSP) of 8, with the coating manufacturer requiring a CSP of 3-4. The epoxy primer allowed workers to smooth out the overly rough areas before adding sand to the epoxy to give it the correct profile.
Western’s Atlanta team completed the project in August 2022, right on time for the university’s football season to begin.