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S.B. Cox Crew Demolishes Renowned Football Stadium in Roanoke

Tue August 29, 2006 - Southeast Edition
Jeff Cronin



For the proponents of the replacement of a stadium in Roanoke, VA, the completion of S.B. Cox’s contract July 28 was a victory.

Following years of debate between preservationists and those hoping for a new venue, Victory Stadium is no longer.

Built 64 years ago, the 24,000-seat stadium, which was much larger than one would normally find in the city of Roanoke’s size, has been home to some legendary high school and college football games and a Dave Matthews Band concert.

Named in the midst of World War II, Roanoke City Council seemed to have a more positive outlook on the end result of the war than many Americans and settled on Victory Stadium.

The decades of prosperity and popularity of the stadium saw the beginning of the end in 1985 when floods ravaged the Roanoke area. Images of a submerged Victory Stadium remain in the forefront of those who lived through the severe weather.

Soon after, city officials began discussing their options for the deteriorating stadium. In December 1995, city council approved a $13- million renovation project. The work never took place.

Demolition of Victory Stadium was never seriously considered until 2000, when a citizens committee recommended to city council that it be torn down. The proposal sparked six years of debate.

The decision was made final May 15, when the council approved demolition plans by a 5-2 vote.

Crews arrived at the site June 26, ending the long history of the Roanoke landmark.

Even with years of debate preceding their arrival at the site, Dewayne Edwards of S.B. Cox said it proved to be a normal demolition job without any surprises.

The stadium was brought down with a wrecking ball on a Link-Belt 108 crawler crane. Edwards said the concrete and rebar structure was easy to take down, which is why they opted for the wrecking ball, as opposed to other means of demolition.

Once on the ground the remnants of Victory Stadium were attacked with S.B. Cox’s team of Cat 330 excavators, each equipped with a different attachment. One had the standard bucket, while others chomped away at the material with a pulverizer, a universal processor and a grapple, which was used to separate the steel from the concrete.

Edwards said the 330s make up most of his company’s excavator fleet and “they did an exceptionally good job on this project.”

Ten S.B. Cox workers were at the site throughout the length of the job, which ended July 28 — two weeks before the deadline. They worked 12-hour shifts, five days a week.

Approximately 1,000 loads of concrete and brick (from the facade) were removed from the site and taken to a private landfill.

The steel was recycled, as was the 200 loads of asphalt removed from the track and the area outside the stadium.

After all of the material was removed from the site, the crew brought in approximately 8,000 cu. yds. of dirt to bring the site back up to grade. CEG