Project: Commonwealth Stadium renovation - Lexington, KY
Customer: University of Kentucky
Contractor: Skanksa USA - Cincinnati, OH
Finisher: E.C. Matthews Co. - Lexington, KY
Project obstacles and solutions: Commonwealth Stadium is the home of the University of Kentucky football team. The structure was originally built in 1973. During 2015, the stadium has undergone a $110 million renovation project that added new luxury suites, box seating, club seating, a three tiered press box and new concourse areas with concessions and restroom upgrades. It also added a new recruiting room with a patio overlooking the east end zone and rerouted the entrances to the locker rooms. The renovation changed the configuration of seats in the southern section of the stadium, with a walk out patio area and realigned walkways. The renovated stadium has a capacity of 62,000 seats.

This is a massive project and the construction deadline was unforgiving, as the first home football game was scheduled for September 5. The renovation of the stadium was delayed by bad weather throughout the winter and spring. IMI supplied 4,000 yards of concrete around the clock for this project. E.C. Matthews poured nine different levels of concrete for the south end of the stadium. The upper decks were all poured with lightweight concrete. IMI QC/QA designed a 4,500 psi concrete mix that was mixed with a Solite aggregate. Lightweight aggregates are soaked in water prior to mixing the concrete. Determining the proper amount of time to soak and drain the aggregates is critical. If there is not enough water in the stone, hydration of the cement paste will be limited and strength will be compromised. If there is too much water in the stone, drying times due to excessive bleed water will be lengthened. This can be a big problem for a project that is on a very tight schedule. IMI QC/QA tested the aggregates to determine the amount of water in the stone and adjusted their mixes accordingly. IMI supplied 2,000 yards of lightweight concrete for these decks around the clock.

Prior to the opening game, K-Fund members were given a private tour of the new facility. Tony Neely, the UK Assistant Athletics Director for Media Relations, commended IMI personnel for starting early, staying late and doing whatever it took to get the stadium ready to open. Commonwealth Stadium opened for the first home game of the season on September 5, 2015.

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