E.B. Cushing Stadium is the new home of the Texas A&M University track and field teams. The 90,500 square foot stadium is capable of seating 2,200 fans with room for expansion. Behind, under and above the stands are offices, meeting rooms, a lounge, locker rooms, and a press box. In addition to complementing the rich architecture of the campus, the stadium entrance has an old European coliseum look representing the origins of track and field – the oldest form of sporting competition in the world.
Camarata Masonry Systems, Ltd. was responsible for work on the interior and exterior of this project. Our interior scope of work on this state-of-the-art facility includes grey CMU partitions and glazed block in two different patterned styles in different areas of the building. The exterior includes different mixes of oversized custom burnished block units in a running bond pattern, cast stone banding, massive cast stone wall caps, two different brick types with inlays and large GFRC panels. The cladding is over 5 stories of work, with a mix of materials that required completely different installation methods and hoisting techniques. Because of the materials used, sequencing was a top priority in how they all came together and to maintain optimal productivity. There are 2 large wing walls with GFRC clad archways surrounded by brick veneer and capped off with cast stone caps, in which the individual GFRC pieces weighed in excess of 1,600 pounds apiece, installed over 45’ above ground level. At the side entrance to the stadium, a row of four 23 feet tall intricately detailed masonry clad columns, with multiple different materials and planes, greet all spectators. As you approach the Administration and Locker Room entry at the front (west side) of the stadium, you are greeted by twelve 4’ diameter by 25’ tall GFRC columns.
There is masonry above, below, around, and beyond almost every corner of this project. With the footprint of the building and 3-D layout of the veneer, coordinating, tracking, access, and stocking was a challenge. The large cast stone cap pieces that form a single continuous peak at the wing walls had to be field measured in order to keep them in line with the planed offset pilasters and varying wall profile. The GFRC cladding was especially difficult due to the sheer size and weight of some of the panels which encompass the grand entry, the archways, and the banding at and above the roofline. The GFRC pieces above the columns at the grand entry are 10’ tall, 14’ long and weigh in excess of 2,300 lbs. These pieces had to be hoisted more than 30’ in the air and set with five 15” stainless steel anchors that were ¼” thick in order to support the dead load as well as the wind load.
The new stadium finally gives the university’s track and field program a true home. This facility sets Texas A&M apart from other colleges in that it can support any level of event from high school meets to Olympic time trials. CMS was able to complete the project safely and within budget, along with providing a visually stunning facility that serves as a tribute to the culture and history of Texas A&M University.