ODU plans $24.8 million renovation of Foreman Field
By RICH RADFORD, The Virginian-Pilot © September 26, 2007
Foreman Field is about to get a $24.8 million face lift.
That's the price tag Old Dominion University put on the project Tuesday when it unveiled plans to upgrade the facility in preparation for the school's start of football in the fall of 2009.
S.B. Ballard Construction Co. of Virginia Beach, which also built Ted Constant Convocation Center, won the bid and will begin construction in December. The price tag is about $6 million less than the construction cost of the Constant Center.
Completion date is Aug. 15, 2009.
S.B. Ballard will work with Clark Nexsen Architecture and Engineering on the project, which will include something ODU officials believe is unique to Division I-AA football: a special area where the football team will host visiting high school recruits.
"I've been to the stadiums of a lot of the top-flight I-AA programs in the country and none of them have what we are about to build," ODU football coach Bobby Wilder said. "In the southeast corner of the game-day building, we will have a glassed-in room specifically designed to host recruits. It was the No. 1 thing I asked for in the design concept."
When it's completed, Foreman Field will seat about 20,000 for football, will house a visitors' locker room beneath the north end-zone stands and anchor the complex with the game-day building to which Wilder referred.
The yet unnamed game-day building will be the focal point of the project and will house 24 luxury suites with 400 loge seats and 100 mini boxes. Twelve of the boxes with have their own patios overlooking the plaza south of the complex. There will also be an 8,000-square-foot patio on the second level of the game-day building, and another 7,500-square-foot enclosed terrace will look directly out over the south end zone.
"I'm very happy to get this bid and I think this project has a lot of potential," said Steve Ballard of S.B. Ballard. "But right now, I'm about 40th on the list for one of those 24 luxury suites. I've got to figure out how I'm going to get a box."
The project will include a 727-space contiguous garage at the southwest corner of the stadium.
The current playing surface will be replaced with Astroturf GameDay Grass 3D and the field will be lowered approximately 18 inches, with the existing crown in the middle of the field to be removed. Also, 3,000 premium seats will be installed in the existing stands, which are to undergo upgrading and structural repair under a separate contract that is expected to add about $1.4 million to the final stadium costs.
Renovation of the north end-zone stands, which will house visitors and game officials locker rooms, will also be handled under a separate contract expected to come in under $1 million.
With Foreman Field having been around since 1934, there will also be lead-based paint and asbestos abatement to deal with. That is expected to cost about $200,000.
"The S.B. Ballard proposal offered the best mix of cost and facility requirements," said Bob Fenning, ODU's vice president for administration and finance. "We had three excellent proposals from outstanding companies. My hat's off to the whole crew. It's a complicated project when you're getting a lot of input from so many different people in their wants and desires."