CU Stadium - Boulder
- Location: Colorado University - Boulder
- Project Type: Vertical (High Rise)
- Project Timeline: 16 months
- Project Size: 3-5 story - 491,000sqft
- Architect: POPULOUS
- Structural Engineer: Martin & Martin
- General Contractor: Mortenson
- Concrete: Mortensen
Views to the field and the Flat Irons are incredible on Football Saturday’s at CU’s Folsom Field. The new Roof Top Terrace on top of the new Champions Center can be used on game days and throughout the year for weddings, receptions corporate and university events. An elevated view of Folsom Field and the Raphie Run from the New Roof Top Terrace, one of the best traditions in College Football, where Ralphie the Buffalo leads the CU Team onto the field before every home game.
This project was a $156-million expansion to consolidate all University of Colorado athletics departments into one set of connected facilities. It was the largest-ever design-build sports project completed so far by the Denver office of general contractor Mortenson Construction. Mortenson was the lead firm of the design-build and Denver-based Populous served as the project’s architect.
The program scope included a 220,000-sq-ft expansion of CU’s iconic Folsom Field; a new 120,000-sq-ft, net-zero-energy indoor practice facility; and a 550-stall, below-grade parking garage. An expansion to the northeast corner of Folsom Field now connects Dal Ward Athletic Center to the east skyboxes and houses the athletic department and football team in the new Champions Center.
The new facilities are designed to help student athletes achieve peak performance, while centralizing CU’s athletic programs and providing unified and more efficient operations. Additional premium seating and a new rooftop terrace with panoramic views of Boulder’s Flatirons enhance the fan experience. New dining and beverage options were also added.
The project also includes space for physical rehab facilities, with the creation of a high-performance sports medicine center open to the public. In a novel concept for a university setting, Boulder Community Health and University Physicians occupy a 27,000-sq-ft space on the second floor of the Champions Center.
Key elements of the project include:
- A 212,000-sq-ft expansion to Folsom Field.
- Creation of the state-of-the-art Champions Center, which serves as the new home of CU football and many Olympics sports coaches and the university’s athletics administration. The Champions Center houses a team locker room and lounge, team dining facilities, and a rooftop terrace for game-day and special events.
- A new Sports Medicine and Performance Center, in partnership with Boulder Community Health, which is open to the public.
- A 38,000-sq-ft renovation of Dal Ward Athletic Center, which includes the addition of a men’s and women’s Olympics sports locker room, expansion of the Academic Center and a new weight room.
- Construction of a 108,000-sq-ft, net-zero energy indoor practice facility. The facility serves all sports programs and the six-lane, 300-meter Olympics track allows CU to host sanctioned track and field events on campus.
- A 534-car underground parking garage below the Indoor Practice Facility.
- Franklin Field, a 106,000-sq-ft outdoor grass practice field, adjacent to the Indoor Practice Facility.
- 3,161 total workers
- Peak workforce of 600 craft workers on site in one day
- 550 plus days without a recordable injury on the Indoor Practice Facility
- 2,604 solar panels, creating 1,200 MWh/year of power generation
- 1,876 seats upgraded
- 90ft clear height on the Indoor Practice Facility (to allow punting without interference)
- 5 pools (hot, cold, treadmill and two recovery pools)
- 11,285sqft weight room
- 2,270 tons of sandstone and limestone
Design began in February 2014, and Mortenson broke ground only three months later on construction of the northeast and north end-zone seating. In one of the project’s most ambitious scheduling challenges, this segment entailed removing a couple thousand seats and having them back in place by last September’s first home football game. Mortenson had four months to dismantle everything and build it back.
“We had to work through issues you wouldn’t usually deal with, and then about a month after the start of construction, the university saw the opportunity to add a 550-stall parking garage under the practice facility. It took a lot of thought and planning to go another 25ft below grade into rock,” says Mortenson’s Gene Hodge, director of project development. These kind of sweeping changes greatly affected the scope and timelines of the project.
Bestway worked closely with Mortenson to coordinate the immense needs of the project in both the shear cubic yard quantity and the extreme timeline of the entire project. Bestway and Mortenson coordinated daily to assure all of their needs were met as Mortenson worked swing shifts at times to keep the project timelines. Meanwhile, Bestway kept inside of DOT regulations on driver hours to make sure everyone held to the highest level of safety. This was no small task given the demanding schedule.