Same architects recommended for new Memorial Stadium work

Same architects recommended for new Memorial Stadium work

URBANA — Architects who designed the massive $121 million renovation of the west side of Memorial Stadium in 2008 will oversee the new $132 million project to revamp the south end and east stands.

University of Illinois administrators are proposing that HNTB Architects, based in Kansas City, Mo., be awarded a $2.7 million contract for the preliminary design and development phase of the project. UI trustees will vote on the contract next week.

The amount will likely increase once the project moves into the design and construction phase later this year, said Mike Bass, senior associate vice president for business and finance.

The goal is to complete the work by July 2020, Bass told trustees at a committee meeting Monday.

The money for the initial contract will come from university "institutional funds," but Bass said the bulk of the project will be paid for with private gifts and athletic department revenue. A detailed accounting will be provided when the project budget is up for final trustee approval in May or July, he said.

Up to $95 million will be used to replace the south "horseshoe" with a new grandstand and a home for all football operations — locker rooms, training and sports medicine facilities and recruiting venues. The rest will be used to add new restrooms, concession areas and elevators on the east stands, as well as new accessible seating.

The work on the south end zone is to be completed in time for the 2019 season and the east side renovations will be done by July 2020.

Officials have said the overall capacity of the stadium won't change much, though the east side may lose a few seats and the south end may gain some.

The 2008 project added private suites, club seating, a new press box, updated restrooms and concession areas. HNTB received a contract of $4 million plus up to $397,295 in reimbursable expenses for that project.

Natural History budget

On another construction note, the university is seeking trustee approval for a $1.9 million budget increase for the top-to-bottom renovation of the Natural History Building on the UI Quad.

Bass said the project has used up 85 percent of its $8.6 million contingency fund, and he'd like to raise it to $10.5 million to cover anticipated expenses.

This would be the third budget increase for the project, pushing the total cost to $78.3 million from the original $70 million projection. The completion date, once forecast as October 2016 and then this month, has been pushed back to spring or summer 2017, he said.

"This is a very complex thing when you go into very old buildings," Bass said.

Built in the 1890s, the landmark structure designed by architect Nathan Ricker is the oldest academic building on campus and third-oldest overall.

Engineers inspecting the building in June 2010, after termite damage was found, discovered structural problems with the concrete floors in the 1908 addition on the south and west sides. About half of the building was closed and the renovation was fast-tracked.

Work began in summer 2014. But the oldest section of the building needed structural reinforcing, the 100-year-old concrete floors had more issues than initially thought, and crews had to fill in old windows that had been hidden inside interior walls, among other surprises.

Donors will provide about $7 million for the project, and the rest is being paid for with university funds.

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shurstrike wrote on January 10, 2017 at 10:01 am

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand..............there go the affordable seats in the Horseshoe.

Lostinspace wrote on January 10, 2017 at 1:01 pm

We were just reading about poor upkeep of facilities, broken chairs, etc.

Different budget, you know.  Those were just facilities for students. They have nothing to do with the sports factory (except to pay a mandatory fee).