October 2016

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92 | OCTOBER 2016 Richardson Stadium Redevelopment – Queen's University RENDERING COURTESY SHOALTS AND ZABACK ARCHITECTS LTD. Richardson Stadium Redevelopment – Queen's University by ROBIN BRUNET I t goes without saying that innovative design, sound structural engineering and professional construction services all play key roles in the creation of sport stadiums that raise the bar of quality. But in the case of Queen's University's new Richardson Stadium, site topography along with input from a particularly knowledgeable benefactor has helped make the facility amongst the best of its kind in Ontario. The new $20.27 million stadium, which is part of the University's $500-million Initiative Campaign fundraising effort, occupies the same location as the one that was built in 1972 and includes an artificial turf field, a new digital video scoreboard, and bowl-style seating for 8,000 people, formed in a u-shape. It's a unique facility that improves on the strengths of the previous stadium, which John Witjes, associate VP (facilities) for Queen's University, describes as "having reached the end of its useful life a while ago. We'd been replacing seating boards and running structural checks during off season, and in 2013 we had to remove some of the bleachers and install temporary seating." A campaign to build a new stadium was launched, and in March of 2014 a $10-million pledge was made by Queen's alumnus and former Canadian football wide receiver Stu Lang and his wife Kim; this was followed by a $5-million donation from the Richardson Foundation. The project was approved by the University's Board of Trustees in December of 2014 and Shoalts and Zaback Architects Ltd. along with construction manager M. Sullivan & Son – both local firms that had worked on numerous Queen's projects – were promptly retained. Both Witjes and Gerry Shoalts credit Lang's technical expertise and enthusiasm for advancing the design of the new facility. The latter adds, "All the stakeholders had valuable ideas, and credit should also be extended to JSA Sport Architecture Inc., who we retained in the initial stages as consultants because this was our first stadium project." One the key goals for Lang was to reinforce the social aspect of football in university life. The site upon which the new stadium would sit was a former rock quarry, and the natural bowl shape significantly influenced the design. "We created a top-loaded stadium," says Shoalts. "Spectators would enter the facility at a single eastern access point leading directly to the u-shaped concourse, the entire length of which they could walk across, before descending to the seats below. "The concourse would contain washrooms, food services and a continuous rail for viewing – in other words, it would be a place of social interaction with fantastic views of the surrounding area." Eliminated from the design was a perimeter running track that had graced the old stadium; this too was advantageous because it allowed the architects to bring the spectators much closer to the field of play. "We also elevated the first row of seats by six feet in order to provide optimal sightlines," says Shoalts. Given that the demolition of the old stadium and construction of the new facility would have to be accomplished during off-season, the project from the outset was viewed as challenging – but a further complication came in the form of site testing that revealed unstable soil conditions. Mohamad Zeitoun, manager of structural engineering – buildings at McIntosh Perry Consulting Engineers Ltd., explains, "the quarry contained backfill material, which meant that the buildings of the stadium and even scoreboards and a retaining wall required deep foundations. Typically in Kingston you hit bedrock at approximately one metre, but here we had to go down as far as 10 metres. Originally we were going to use micro piles, but for cost and scheduling reasons we changed to caissons." In fact, scheduling around the football season proved to be of utmost importance to the smooth execution of the project. "Sullivan suggested commencing site infrastructure work while the construction drawings were still being developed, in order to have services in the ground by the start of the season in September 2015," says Witjes. "Fortunately, the City of Kingston advanced an adjacent upgrade of infrastructure services to coincide with our development, so that we could simply tie into their new system – an enormous savings of time and money." At the end of the football season in November of 2015, the old stadium was demolished – save for the dressing rooms, which were upgraded with a new roof and heated flooring – the caissons were sunk and construction of the new facility began. Part of the construction involved a new Musco lighting system designed by H.H. Angus & Associates Limited that consisted of shielded, higher lights directed downward and focused on the field surface, which not only enhanced field level illumination but minimized light spillover into the surrounding residential neighbourhood. Additionally, the new east parking lot lights are dark sky compliant to minimize light pollution. Structural issues came into play during the building process. Zeitoun explains: "The steel framing for the elevated press box and for the grandstand couldn't interfere with each other. The steel for the press box goes through the grandstand framing, so essentially you have two frames fighting for the same spot – and precise calculations on the part of the design team were required to make it work." Further complicating this area was the presence of an elevator for the press box and concourse levels. "We couldn't have any kind of traditional bracing in the concourse level as it was to be used as a means of egress, so we devised for the bracing to run underneath the concourse for the elevated press box," says Zeitoun. As for landscaping, Wentworth Landscapes acted on the input of an arborist and not only replaced trees that had to be removed during construction but added to the volume in order to beautify the surroundings. As the 2016 football season approached and finishing touches were being put on the new Richardson Stadium, Witjes took time to appreciate how relatively smoothly the long and complex project was brought to fruition. "From having Stu Lang come onboard to the new facility taking shape, we abided by the conviction 'let's do it right,' and the final result is something we can all be proud of," he says. A LOCATION 938 Johnson Street, Kingston, Ontario OWNER/DEVELOPER Queen's University ARCHITECT Shoalts and Zaback Architects Ltd. CONSTRUCTION MANAGER M. Sullivan & Son Limited STADIUM CONSULTANT JSA Sport Architecture Inc. STRUCTURAL CONSULTANT McIntosh Perry Consulting Engineers Ltd. MECHANICAL/ ELECTRICAL CONSULTANT H.H. Angus & Associates Limited LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT Wentworth Landscapes TOTAL COST $20.27 million 13392 Loyalist Parkway, RR1 Picton, Ontario K0K 2T0 Kingston 613.547.3772 December 2016 ANNUAL INDUSTRY FEATURE: Sinks Book your ad space now: Dan Chapman 604.473.0316 Alexander Sugden 604.473.0358

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