Stadium expansion on track for completion

With a new national football title under its belt, the University can also look forward to something else this August — an expanded Bryant-Denny Stadium.

An expansion to the South end zone of the stadium, which was started earlier last year, is still on schedule for completion the first week of July, well before the start of the 2010 Crimson Tide football season.

Thad Turnipseed, director of athletic facilities, said the current phase of the project has involved installing the beams that support the overhanging upper levels of the stadium, in addition to concrete work on top of the stadium.

He said that on the inside of the stadium, other work will include installing air conditioner units on all the various levels, which will be activated sometime next week.

“We’ll also be putting sheetrock up the next week or so,” Turnipseed said.

In terms of the various stages of work on the project, Turnipseed said the construction on the interior is done “from the ground up.” From the ground level, the construction crews have been working on the technical aspects, including plumbing installation and electrical work.

Currently, the crews are working on the second level of the end zone side.

“We’ll be working on each floor every couple of weeks,” Turnipseed said.

In addition, Turnipseed said work done on the second floor, which will house the Donor Hall of Fame, as well as development offices, will be painted and tiled in the next week or so.

The end zone, including the ground floor, will have eight levels.

Mal Moore, the athletic director, said he could not be more proud of the work done by Brasfield & Gorrie LLC, a Birmingham-based construction company working on the stadium.

“This is a very good team we have,” Moore said. “They’re very capable of doing what they say. I think they are doing very well.”

Moore said the expansion would increase the stadium’s seating capacity from 92,000 to approximately 101,000.

Looking back over the past year of growth for the athletics program, Moore said seeing the stadium expanded has been an added bonus to the whole experience.

“Seeing all of this take place is very exciting and rewarding,” Moore said. “I look forward to the opening game against San Jose State.”

Turnipseed said Bryant Drive, which has been blocked in the same area as the stadium, would more than likely be cleared by the middle of August.

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