List Your Equipment For Free  /  Seller Login

Integra Scores Home Run in Cobb County

Wed February 07, 2001 - Southeast Edition
G.W. Hall

Youngsters in eastern Cobb County will have a new place to play this spring, when the new East Cobb Sports Complex opens on Lee Waters Road in Marietta, GA.

“The new complex will be beautiful,” said Jeff Powers, project manager for Integra Construction Inc. “The facility will include eight baseball and softball fields, two combination concession and scoring buildings, one scoring-only building, one maintenance building, and two ticket booths. The buildings will have metal frames with block walls, brick exteriors, shingle roofs, and wood doors and windows.

“In addition, the finished complex will also have nine outdoor batting cages and parking area for 325 cars,” Powers added. “The main field, also called the Stadium Field, will feature full-size brick dugouts and a three-foot brick wall around the entire field. We will also install block modular retaining walls on slopes around the other fields. The complex will have more than 100,000 sq. ft. of sidewalk and hardscape, as well.”

A variety of architects, engineering firms, and other contractors have worked together to transform these fields from dreams to reality. Ruark Wyatt Architects and Reece, Hoopes & Fincher Landscape Architects drew up the designs for the complex. Gaskins Surveying and Engineering assisted in mapping out the 29-acre site of the complex.

But Aiken Grading Company faced some of the greatest challenges in getting the site ready for the facility. These chores began late in April 2000, when company workers began clearing the dense pine and hardwood forest that covered the future home of the complex.

“We cleared the site for about 30 days before Cobb County put an outdoor burning ban into effect because of the rainfall deficit we were facing at the time,” said Robert Sanford, senior vice president of Aiken Grading. “We then spent another two weeks chipping before wrapping up the clearing part of the project.”

The next phase of the operation involved moving more than 300,000 cu. yds. (229,368 cu m) of soil, 10,000 cu. yds. (7,645 cu m) of blast rock, and 30,000 cu. yds. (22,936 cu m) of rip rock.

“We had to stage our grading to keep the rock moving from lagging behind the earth moving, and so we could place all the rock at the bottom of the embankments to keep from capping the field with rock that would prevent the turf from growing,” Sanford said. “We then assisted Sports Turf Company Inc. in respreading about 10,000 cu. yds. of topsoil over the field areas to ensure that the sod installed by landscapers would have a good foundation in which to take root.”

At the height of the grading and clearing portion of the project, Aiken Grading Company had 15 employees and 10 pieces of Caterpillar equipment working at the site. This machinery included two big D8R blade tractors, four 621E scrapers, two 815 compactors, one 350 backhoe, two 35-ton (31.5 t) articulated trucks, one D-6 dozer, and a 140 motor grader. The company obtained this equipment from Yancey Bros., which also supplied Aiken Grading with the majority of the 250 pieces of machinery in the company’s overall equipment inventory.

In addition to the mass grading, the company had the responsibility of putting in more than 2,500 ft. (762 m) of storm drain and sanitary sewer lines. Company officials also had to cope with several other difficult problems along the way.

“A creek ran through the property, so we had to install heavy erosion control and stall blankets to keep the water in the creek clear and prevent sediments from reaching a small lake just downstream from the project,” Sanford said.

In addition, the Aiken Grading crew and other contractors also had to work around an existing private residence on the site.

“An elderly lady still occupied a home on the site,” Sanford said. “The developer had purchased a new home for her, but it wasn’t ready quite as early as expected. So she ended up remaining in her existing home longer than expected. We eventually moved the structure to another location on the site, but working around it was quite a challenge.”

When Aiken Grading finished the majority of its grading work, which company officials value at approximately $1.7 million, other contractors moved in to complete the project. These included the local firm of Wallace Grading, which helped install the field drainage system utilizing a John Deere excavator and a remote control Wacker RT, the latter of which they rented from Yancey Brothers.

In addition, Integra Construction Inc. hired Sports Turf Company Inc. for the primary construction of the athletic fields. Sports Turf Company utilized eight pieces of equipment to laser grade more than 10 acres (4 ha) of playing fields, put in a sand-based rootzone, install an efficient irrigation system and install approximately 450,000 sq. ft. (41,806 sq m) of Certified TifSport Bermuda grass. This machinery included four New Holland tractors with hydraulically-controlled laser land levelers. Used in tandem with Spectraphysics laser units mounted on tripods around the site, the tractors’ laser receivers controlled their hydraulic systems to ensure the elevation and slopes matched the site blueprints to ensure a uniform drainage system to remove water from the playing fields. Sports Turf Company also relied on New Holland backhoes, Ditch Witch trenchers and a Caterpillar D3 dozer to complete the field construction.

“Our biggest challenge was coordinating our activities with those other contractors involved in the project to ensure timely and proper sequencing of work, such as the rough grading, fencing and lighting contractors,” said Dan Wright of Sports Turf Company.

These contractors included the Landscape Management Group, which has the responsibility of landscaping the remainder of the facility. C.W. Matthews Paving Contractors of Marietta, GA, will have the responsibility of paving the parking lots and roadways, while Thomas Concrete supplies concrete for the project.

For the buildings, Integra Construction Company selected Sons Erectors Inc. of Marietta, GA, to put up the metal frameworks. To assist in that process, the crew from Sons Erectors leased a Caterpillar TH83 personnel-lifter from Yancey Bros.

“Total construction costs for the project should come in around $7 million,” Powers said. “Wet weather has slowed down our progress somewhat during the latter stages of the project. All the rain we had in December and January also made it hard to keep mud off the road, as required by state environmental/construction regulations.

“Despite these challenges, though, we still plan to complete the project in time for umpires to shout, ’Play ball!’ by the first of April,” Powers said.

Today's top stories

Intel Makes Progress On Its $28B Ohio Facilities

GGI Constructors Takes On $908M South Florida Highway

Historic Flooding Hits Midwest

The Ironpeddlers Celebrates 50th Year in Business

Officials in N.J., N.Y Celebrate Deal to Fully Fund $16B Hudson Tunnel Project

VIDEO: JCB Partners With Rock Legend Joe Walsh, VetsAid to Rock & Rebuild

Volvo CE Continues to Transform in Q2 2024 Through Tougher Industry Landscape

West Homewood, Alabama Anticipates New Mixed-Use Redevelopment


39.04690 \\ -77.49030 \\ Ashburn \\ PA