BUILDING INNOVATIVE SOLUTIONS

Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville

The 10,100-seat Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville, home to the Double-A Jacksonville Suns, was in the limelight from day one. The first project finished under the Better Jacksonville Plan, a $2.2-billion building program, the stadium fulfills the goal of luring fans and family downtown for entertainment.

The inspiration is Camden Yards, Baltimore, with its old-time feel and contemporary amenities. It is no coincidence that Populous (formerly HOK S+V+E) and Barton Malow worked together on both engagements – the City of Jacksonville, our client, sought an architect and builder team. (Gilbane/Scheer/Renaissance was program manager.)

It’s atmosphere, features, and overall quality are equal to anything in the majors: great sightlines; indoor practice and training facilities; the largest stadium canopy in the minors, protecting fans from heat and rain; the uninterrupted walkway that provides a panorama of historic architecture, city skyline, and bridges over the St. Johns River.

Despite delayed ground-breaking, the stadium was ready for opening day. Innovative techniques, such as a precast soffit and joist framing system to support the main concourse, were key to meeting the schedule.

Overcoming Challenges

While constructing the $29.5M Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville, Barton Malow faced numerous potential conflicts from work adjacent to our project. Located in Jacksonville’s Stadium District, there were five large simultaneous projects in the immediate vicinity: an NFL football stadium expansion, a new sports/entertainment arena, a public utility chilled water energy plant, new NFL practice fields, and the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville. In addition, the baseball stadium construction extended all the way to the curb line bounding the site on all sides of the site. To complicate matters further, the City was repaving streets and sidewalks, installing utilities, adding pedestrian lighting, and addressing irrigation and drainage issues in streets around the site! With this tremendous activity in a restricted area, there was obvious potential for interference on each project from the other projects in the district.

With goodwill and common goals, the Superintendent’s from each of these 5 stadium district projects met every day to make sure that worker safety was never compromised and that the critical path of each project remained on track. The daily meeting addressed material deliveries, site access, and even trade staffing on each project. This daily communication allowed subcontractors on each project to finish their work on schedule and meet their other contractual requirements. As a result of this open forum, Barton Malow identified potential conflicts and worked in a spirit of cooperation with all other project stakeholders to minimize or eliminate them. In the end, the project finished on time.

Len Moser

“Great ride with Barton Malow!”