In 2013 Texas A&M University embarked on a two year, $485 million, renovation of their home stadium, Kyle Field. Renovations were made to the east and south sides of the stadium and to the exterior of the north side, while the west side was imploded so that a new structure could be built. In addition to the difficult level of renovation work, simply bringing the stadium up to modern standards was a challenge since it was originally built in 1927.
Camarata Masonry Systems, Ltd. (CMS), installed over 318,000 modular brick and over 1,500 cast stone pieces (average size 2’-8” tall x 2’-11” wide x 2 ¾” thick) on the exterior of the Kyle Field stadium. This included ten 88’ tall cast stone wainscot/brick columns on the east elevation and fourteen 62’ tall cast stone wainscot/brick columns on the west elevation. CMS also installed the brick veneer and cast stone coping within the four main towers, the cast stone wainscot pieces along the north, east and west elevations along with the brick/cast stone at the E King Gill radius benches, the Victory Street area wainscot walls, the 22’ long x 3’ tall Clayton Williams Jr. site wall and the Freedom Wall throughout the landscape of the stadium.
In addition, CMS installed the brick jambs and heads of each of the six main arches found within the four towers located at each end of the stadium, for a total of twenty-four arches which are 65’ tall and 27’ wide each. Due to the need to construct all of the arches promptly, CMS designed and engineered individual radius brick panels (2’-0” long x 3’-4” wide) to span the width of the top portion of each arch and anchored them to the radius structural steel at the top of the arches. A total of nineteen individual radius brick panels were constructed for each of the twenty four arches, for a total of 456 individual panels. An offsite brick panel fabrication yard was established two miles from the jobsite to build the individual panels which allowed the panels to be ready before they were needed on the jobsite. Special care was needed to ensure each of the individual panels were fabricated at the right dimensions and installed properly in order to continue the required radius from one end of the arch to the other end. Since space was limited throughout the jobsite, the offsite brick panel fabrication yard allowed our work to proceed without interruption and also allowed other work on the jobsite to continue since we were not taking up work space needed by others. The upfront effort and thought given to the fabrication of the brick panels allowed the erection of each arch on the jobsite to be completed in the most efficient and quickest manner possible.
Another complication was material delivery and lack of onsite storage space. Because the project site did not provide ample space for material storage, all material orders were coordinated to ensure on time delivery to an offsite location. Material was then brought to the jobsite in pre-determined quantities on an as needed basis. Due to multiple design changes, material delivery plans required periodic adjustment to prevent any delay.
The Kyle Field renovation project was sequenced and phased to avoid interruption of regular home football games scheduled for the 2013, 2014 and 2015 seasons. The largest challenge on the project was the time specific schedule for both phases. Each phase could not begin until the end of the football season and needed to be completed before the start of the next football season. The stringent schedule imposed simultaneous work in multiple areas to provide proper work flow and timely completion. Defining the required manpower for a project of this size and complexity well in advance was extremely important to ensure the project was never undermanned. Combining the limited time frame, large amount of manpower and a tight working area with similar conditions and requirements for each subcontractor on the project proved to make conditions extremely arduous.
The renovation increased the stadium seating from 92,000 to 102,000 (officially 102,512 seats) and made it the largest football stadium in the SEC and fourth largest in the nation. The new and improved Kyle Field is one of the largest true symmetrical bowl football stadiums in the country and serves as a tribute to the culture and history of Texas A&M University.