Into the end zone at my alma mater
By Jay Weldon, Project Manager
For a lot of reasons, this is a project I’ll always remember.
I graduated from the University of Georgia in 2015. A year and a half later, I was back on campus to supervise a mechanical systems project for Sanford Stadium. I’d spent many Saturdays in that stadium, cheering on the Bulldogs.
UGA wanted to up their game when bringing in recruits on game days. So, they decided to renovate the area overlooking the stadium’s West End Zone. They improved seating, updated the locker room and installed what they called a “recruiting lounge and plaza.” Inside the lounge, recruits can enjoy lunch on Saturday, then walk out the big glass doors onto the plaza and watch the game from the West End Zone.
We worked on HVAC and plumbing for these updates – but the real challenge for us was a major extension of a steam and chilled water system from the campus loop to the building.
The campus has two central energy plants that provide chilled water and a central steam plant to move steam throughout the campus in three loops. Our job was to extend these systems through underground piping from South Lumpkin Street eastward to the stadium. That’s a length of about a football field and a half, straightaway.
Only it wasn’t straightaway. Because between Lumpkin and the stadium sits the Tate Student Center, plus a parking deck and a parking lot. And although we were doing the work over the summer, the university had student tours and orientations going on, and the student center of course is a big part of that.