Congratulations to our recent Challenge Award winner, Orlando Citrus Bowl!
Walter P Moore congratulates this year’s 1st quarter Challenge Award winner! Begun in 2015, the Challenge Awards were established internally and are held quarterly to recognize teams and/or individuals for outstanding performance in demonstrating some or all of the 5 Coordinates that define our Driven by the Challenge culture.
The 5 Coordinates
PEP Passion / Expertise / Performance
TIK Teamwork Integrates Knowledge
INO Innovation Not Optional
ECX Extraordinary Client Experience
We had two winners this go-around, but due to confidentiality, we are only able to share one of them with you.
Engineering Renewal at the Citrus Bowl
Walter P Moore intelligently renovates an aging and deteriorating stadium, supports a lightning-fast construction schedule, and delivers a like-new, market-leading venue for the Orlando region, demonstrating all five coordinates in the process.
The City of Orlando long-recognized the need to address their aging revenue-generating jewel, the Florida Citrus Bowl. Dating back to the mid-1930s, the Citrus Bowl underwent a number of name changes and several renovations, resulting in a mishmash of structures that yielded poor sightlines, dense forests of tightly spaced columns, and dense cross-bracing that interrupted concourses and impacted the flow of people, wayfinding, and points of sale.
As the stadium aged, maintenance also became an issue. The resulting experience for fans of bowl games and other marquee events was sometimes less than hoped for, and major events were considering relocating to more modern facilities.
After a few hiccups, the renovation moved forward in early 2013. The budget was a not to exceed $207.7 million, including the total demolition and replacement of the lower bowl, two new vertical circulation structures, renovations to the existing suite and press levels, and intensive maintenance of the existing upper seating bowl. Key components included roughly 41,000 new seats, three new state-of-the-art scoreboards, eight escalators and eight elevators, and all new concessions.
Owner — City of Orlando
Operator — Florida Citrus Sports
Owner’s Representative — SC Advisors
Program Manager — Hunt Construction
Prime Architect — HNTB
Associate Architect — Rhodes + Brito
Structural Engineer — Walter P Moore
Associate Structural Engineer — Advanced Structural Design
MEP Engineer — TLC Engineering
Construction Manager-at-Risk — Turner Construction
The accelerated design schedule allowed just four months from completion of 50% Schematic Design to release of all of the structural packages, skipping the traditional Design Development phase entirely. Architectural and MEP packages were not completed until four months after the release of the structural packages. It was clear from day one that Walter P Moore would be under the gun to produce structural documents quickly and without full information from other design disciplines.
Walter P Moore and Advanced Structural Design (ASD) shared the structural scope, with WPM responsible for the new precast bowl, steel circulation structures, and the elevated concession buildings. ASD was responsible for foundation design, at-grade concessions and administration structures, and the renovation/rehabilitation of the suite, press, and upper seating bowl.
The vision for the stadium’s renewal included three components: vast enhancements to the fan experience, improved operations, and a reduction in long-term maintenance. The Owner also sought to optimize the return-on-investment made by the City and Florida Citrus Sports and to complete the renovation within a very aggressive 10-month construction schedule and an austere budget.
While the design schedule was very fast, the construction schedule was even more of a challenge. The City of Orlando hosts major events during the pleasant Florida winters, starting with two bowl games in late December and the always-sold-out, fan-favorite Monster Jam. These events meant that the contractor could not be on-site until late January 2014; regardless, the renovated stadium had to be fully open in time for the bowl games in December of that year. Further pressuring the schedule was an annual college football game held in November. The contract required that the construction manager turn over roughly 70% of the stadium to the Owner prior to this game.
Turner was selected as construction manager-at-risk in May 2013, and because of the construction schedule, approval times, and the long-lead precast seating units, they immediately requested an accelerated bid package for the structural precast. In just two short weeks, WPM produced a “progress set” which was used to select the pre-caster, Metromont, for a design-assist role. The other primary structural subcontractor was Banker Steel, who fabricated the structural steel and teamed with Memco for erection of the steel, precast, and escalators in the circulation structures.
Despite the many challenges, the project was a smashing success, completed on time and within budget. The impact of the renovation is felt and seen immediately upon arriving at the new Orlando Citrus Bowl. The exterior has been redefined entirely with an exposed steel structure that houses the new elevators and escalators to whisk the fans up to the suite and upper concourse levels.
As fans enter the stadium, they notice further dramatic differences. Concourses are wide and open, grand stairs allow easy access to the club level, and fans can circumnavigate the entire stadium within the concourses.
The venue has opened to rave reviews and has booked and hosted a variety of new, big-name events. Since the stadium opened on time for the Florida Blue Florida Classic in November 2014, over a million fans have experienced the new facility. Attendance for events has exceeded projections, demonstrated by the average of nearly 33,000 fans that watch the Orlando City Soccer Club’s MLS games.
According to City officials, the upgrades for the Citrus Bowl were necessary not only to attract new events, but also to retain existing events like Monster Jam, the Russell Athletic Bowl, the Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl, and the Florida Blue Florida Classic. Since the renovation was completed, officials have announced several new events including neutral-site college games, NFL preseason games, international friendlies for soccer, and a third bowl game. Combined with the Amway Center and the Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center, the historic and renovated Orlando Citrus Bowl gives the City of Orlando the ability to host any possible event and has reinvigorated the economy in the central Florida region.
About the Awards
Submissions are open to all business units and corporate groups within Walter P Moore, with up to four teams/individuals awarded each quarter. Each award has both a cash and a charity component, with the charity being chosen by the winning team. To date, charity organizations have included United Way, Engineers Without Borders, Habitat for Humanity, local food banks, and local ACE Mentoring programs. However, each group is allowed to choose their own charity organization recipient.