by Mary Helen Sprecher
Sometimes, what makes a project challenging is what goes on beneath the surface. And if you're lucky, the finished product will be so outstanding, nobody will even think to ask about what they can't see.
When Mondo USA was selected as surface contractor for the upgrade of the outdoor track facility at Bernie Moore Stadium at Louisiana State University, a serious obstacle quickly became apparent.
"There was an extensive amount of soft soils," noted Mondo's Mathieu Cornellier. "These meant a lot of undercutting, and the import of stable material prior to sub-base construction."
The project itself was already a considerable undertaking: installation of a nine-lane 400-meter track with a nine-lane 100-meter sprint corridor, two double-ended long jump/triple jump runways, four double-ended pole vault runways, two high jump areas, six shot put sectors, two discus sectors and two javelin runways.
If that sounds like an extensive facility, consider this: it has a big job to do. It serves as the outdoor home of the LSU Tigers track and field team, and the LSU Lady Tigers track and field team. The facility is named after former LSU football and track and field coach, Bernie Moore. Moore coached the LSU track team for 18 years (1930-47) and led the Tigers to the 1933 NCAA Championship as well as 12 SEC crowns. The newly refurbished facility has a seating capacity of 5,680.
The entire facility is surfaced in resilient prefabricated rubber material. All in all, a total of more than 165,000 square feet of rubber surfacing was installed in the facility, making it one of the largest facilities Mondo has ever worked on.
It is, says Cornellier, "one of the largest installations Mondo has ever done for one facility, and we were still able to meet the client's expected schedule as well as our own high standards."
According to the LSU website, the Bernie Moore Track Stadium has continued in its tradition of excellence as a perfect site for competition. Most recently, LSU played host to the 2012 SEC Outdoor Championships.
It's not just the student athletes and spectators, however, who appreciate the facility. And in December 2012, it was honored by the sports facility construction industry, in the American Sports Builders Association's annual awards program. The Bernie Moore Stadium was named Outstanding Outdoor Track Facility of the Year.
Honors were announced at ASBA's Technical Meeting, recently held in Orlando, Florida. Entries were scored individually based on considerations such as layout and design, site work, drainage, base construction, surface, amenities, innovation and overall impression. Winning entries were those whose cumulative scores meet or exceed the standard.
ASBA Outdoor Track Facility of the Year
Bernie Moore Stadium at Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Upgrade of Existing Facility: Mondo USA, Inc. (Conshohocken, Pennsylvania)
Contributing to the project:
Interarc (track drawings), Computomarx (track calculations), UCS, Inc. (track and field equipment)
Also honored in the ASBA's awards program in the Outdoor Track Facility category:
Van Meter High School
Van Meter, Iowa
New Construction: Fisher Tracks, Inc. (Boone, Iowa)
Lane Community College
Upgrade of Existing Facility: Cameron McCarthy Landscape Architecture & Planning (Eugene, Oregon)
Yuba Community College
Upgrade of Existing Facility: Beals Alliance, Inc. (Folsom, California)
Kaycee Junior/Senior High School
Upgrade of Existing Facility: L.E.R., Inc. dba Renner Sports Surfaces (Denver, Colorado)