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U of L Builds State-of-Art D1 Soccer Stadium

The $18.5 million stadium with seating capacity for more than 5,300 spectators includes a 15,500-sq. ft. (1,440 sq m) training center and will feature a natural grass field.

Wed March 13, 2013 - Midwest Edition
Mary Reed

The University of Louisville’s Lynn Stadium will be the best Division I Soccer Complex in the country when it’s completed this summer.

The $18.5 million stadium with seating capacity for more than 5,300 spectators includes a 15,500-sq. ft. (1,440 sq m) training center and will feature a natural grass field. Designed by TEG Architects, R. Wayne Estopinal, the stadium is named after Mark and Cindy Lynn. Mark Lynn is a well-known eye doctor who owns many eye care retail stores known as Visionworks.

Prime Contractor ABEL Construction Company Inc., based in Louisville, Ky., was awarded the project in May 2013. Substantial completion date is July 1, 2014, with final completion on Aug. 1, 2014.

With an average of between 70 and 90 employees on the project daily and the likelihood of this number increasing over the coming months, ABEL Construction is fielding a large fleet of equipment.

“We utilized Case equipment in most cases — our subsidiary, BALE Equipment Solutions, is a Case dealer and a Case CX55B compact excavator, G6-42A JLG/Gradall telehandler, and Case 580N backhoe were used for footing and foundation excavation,” said Richard Banta Jr., vice president of ABEL Construction Company Inc.

“We used a Kubota KX-080 excavator for most of our pipe laying and a Komatsu PC360 excavator for most of our dirt cut to fills and for loading trucks for waste removal. A Caterpillar D-8 dozer was used for onsite cut to fill operations, and most of our dirt sub-grade was cut using a John Deere 700K dozer,” he continued. “The pitch subgrade was made using a Bobcat T750 with laser grader, and all of the underground concrete slabs, walls, and footers were busted into smaller pieces using a Caterpillar 330 excavator with hydraulic hammer. The cranes used to set the arched canopy steel were a Link-Belt 3140LB and a Link-Belt 8650 and the sports light poles will be set with a Link-Belt crane. Site contractor Richardson Contracting used a Kubota SLV-90 skid steer as all around general tool hauler.”

The stadium project presents some unusual aspects, as Banta noted. “It will be LEED Certified Silver when we are completed, it is the only exclusively Division I Soccer Facility in the nation, and the spectators’ view, from each angle of the field, was modeled after Major League Soccer’s Sporting KC’s stadium, built in 2011. Three hundred linear feet of ribbon boards will be on display on the north side of the pitch in addition to a digital scoreboard. And finally, the project type was a Best Value point system and thus awarded according to a price and qualifications.”

A large number of subcontractors are working to complete this project on schedule, which Banta described as “a total team effort.” ABEL Construction handled structural and decorative concrete, retaining walls, and hardscapes, and major subcontractors include:

• Richardson Contracting: site work, cut/fill, storm and sanitary systems, infiltration system, field installation, field drainage system

• Subsurface Constructors Inc.: vibro stone columns/ deep foundations

• TL Young Masonry: installation of the brick, glass block, and CMU

• Cundiff Steel: Conventional steel package for the training building

• Birdair: tensile fabric membrane structure

• Padgett Steel: structural steel arches supporting the tensile fabric structure

• Southern Bleacher: permanent grandstands on the east and south of the stadium

• Camatic Seating: fixed chair back seats with arm rests and cup holders

•Archway Roofing & Sheet Metal Systems: EPDM roofing, wall panels, roof panels, sheet metal, and flashings

• Lambert Glass: glazed aluminum curtain wall, glazing, all glass opening window walls, automatic door operators, and aluminum sunshades

• Overhead Door of Louisville: overhead coiling doors

• Atlas Metals: doors, frames, and hardware

• Intex: Interior framing and gypsum

• Maraman Tile: hard tile

• Ted McCain Company: carpet, vinyl flooring, and Mondo Sports Floor

• Stonehard: resinous flooring

• Chambers Painting: painting and coatings

• Professional Fencing: aluminum and chain link fencing

• ThyssenKrupp: elevator

• Lusk Mechanical: plumbing and HVAC systems

• Midwest Sprinkler Corporation: wet and dry fire protection systems

• AES: electrical work

Despite the possibility of weather-related problems, “Our mindset is such that we don’t see ’problems’. Obstacles are viewed as opportunities to showcase the team’s qualifications and professionalism,” said Banta.

The only real obstacles thus far have been the sub-surface debris and the current weather.

“The subsurface debris was tracked and quantified by our site contractor Richardson Contracting. In order to maintain schedule, they doubled the manpower and equipment on the project. The weather is just something we have to deal with. The Ohio Valley weather changes dramatically. It can be 14 degrees one day and 45 degrees the next day. Our team works hard, they have been working in extremely cold temperatures the last couple of weeks. They dress appropriately, maintain safe practices, and break a little more often to warm up inside. We’ve only lost a few days to the below zero temperatures,” Banta continued.

The University of Louisville soccer stadium is not the first project ABEL Construction has carried out for the educational institution.

“Our company started constructing athletic facilities in 2005 with the University of Louisville’s Trager Center Indoor Practice Facility. This project was a 90,000 square feet facility designed and constructed in less than six months and catapulted us into the sports construction sector of the industry,” said Banta.

Since that time ABEL has successfully constructed more than $210 million in Division I Athletic facilities including the University of Louisville’s YUM Center Practice Facility, Trager Stadium, Marshall Center Field Hockey Complex, Jim Patterson Baseball Stadium Expansion, Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium Expansion — a Joint Venture with HUNT Construction — the university’s Student Recreation Center, and now Lynn Stadium.

“In addition to these projects we constructed the University of Kentucky’s Outdoor Track and Field Venue, and Western Kentucky University’s Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium. We are strategically becoming a regional sports builder and submitting on other athletic/sports related projects where we can be an asset to the owners and architects,” said Banta.

About the Company

ABEL Construction Company, Inc., is a family-owned business now in its 75th year.

Founded in 1938 as Abel & Sons Inc., by William M. Abel, a former professional boxer, it was originally a residential repair enterprise. In 1961 his sons Bill and Bob joined the company and created Advance Ready Mix Concrete as well as increasing the company’s fleet of equipment.

It is now a third generation company headed by Bill Abel, Jr., who began with the company as a laborer and carpenter, rising through the posts of superintendent, project manager and vice president to become the current CEO. Now one of the largest contractors in the Kentucky and southern Indiana area, the company offers expertise in the commercial, industrial, educational/post-secondary, athletic/sports, healthcare, aviation, ecumenical, and government sectors, providing services in general contracting, construction and facility management, design/build, LEED consulting and real estate development.

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