Firms hired for AMC renovation study

Construction firm Whiting-Turner and architecture firm Populous (formally HOK Sports) have been awarded the bid to help move the renovation of Alexander Memorial Coliseum forward. In a presentation given by Athletic Director Dan Radakovich earlier in the year, the project cost was estimated to be around $45 million.

“Our goal for that facility [is] fairly simple: we want to make sure we give our fans the best experience we can inside that building,” Radakovich said in his 2010 State of Athletics address.

A donation of $15 million by the McCamish family allowed the extensive renovation to get off the ground. Under the current time frame, the renovation is planned to start after the 2010-2011 basketball season and finished by October of 2012 in time for the start of the 2012-2013 season.

“We hesitate to call it a renovation because it’s really going to be a replacement facility,” Radakovich said.

According to the Request for Qualifications (RFQ) sent out late last year by the Georgia Tech Athletic Association, compiled design flaws from previous renovations rules out the possibility of another minor renovation to the facility. Radakovich also stated that building a new facility would cost nearly $100 million.

“We want to extend the life of that Coliseum. There are not a whole lot of other places we can put a convocation center on our campus. [AMC] is the site that we have, and we want to make it better,” Radakovich said.

According to the RFQ the goal of the renovation is not to increase the quantity of seat at AMC, but the quality of the game experience. The request calls for the capacity to be between 9,000 and 9,400, but to change the seating from mostly bleacher style to all chair-backed seating. The current capacity is 9,191. The RFQ does state that desire to have the suites in the renovated AMC to be at mid-level. Currently the suites are along the top of the facility. LEED Gold Certification is also desired.

“We are building this building from midcourt out. The dollars that are going to be spent are going to be on the inside seating area. New lights, new seats, it will look different,” Radakovich said.

Before any work can commence on the renovation of the Coliseum, the Board of Regents must approve the project. AMC is the property of Tech and the Board must approve all major renovations.

Whiting-Turner and Populous have both conducted work for Tech in the past. Whiting-Turner recently completed the Marcus Nanotechnology building. Populous was previously involved with the north end zone expansion to Bobby Dodd Stadium, the Russ Chandler Stadium renovation and a previous renovation of AMC.