Construction at Faurot Field Reaches a Milestone

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COLUMBIA - Crews working on the eastern expansion of Faurot Field celebrated a milestone Friday. Workers and University of Missouri officials held a special ceremony at the stadium where they signed and installed the final steel beam.

The beam is a part of the steel canopies over the new eastern section of the stadium.

"A lot of hard work has gone into this by everyone from the design team to the project manager, construction managers and obviously the construction workers themselves," Executive Associate Athletic Director Tim Hickman said.

Hickman joined the construction crew for the celebration, also called "topping off." Construction crews traditionally celebrate "topping off" when the highest point of the structure is completed.

"It's kind of where the construction meets the sky," Tom Hager, VP of JE Dunn Construction said. "It's a celebration of that milestone where the hazardous work of working the high steel is done." Hager said the crews are working on the finishes inside the building and finding the enclosures. 

He said the biggest challenge in the construction resulted from the harsh winter weather in early 2014. Hager said crews worked in sub-zero temperatures, which required temporary heaters be brought in and extra insulation to ensure work could continue. 

Hager said construction should wrap up in early August, and, at that point, the university will begin moving its materials in. Hager said the team still has glass and wall panels to install, as well construction to finish on some small buildings on the concourse. He said also the close proximity to traffic brought challenges. He said there wasn't a lot of room for the different agencies to work alongside each other. "We're working them so they can work as efficiently as possible and not be on top of each other," Hager said.

"When the university has a celebration like this, the workers definitely appreciate it," Hager said. "It's an opportunity for all of them to really experience the gratitude from the university."

JE Dunn and the university made hiring local workers a high priority for this project.

"The majority of the workers here on this project are local Missouri tradesmen and women. They take a lot of pride being Tigers fans," Hager said.

The university decided to build an additional Tiger Terrace at the south end of the stadium. It will replace the old amphitheater area. The project cost $42 million.