In the fall of 2015, Staging Concepts began its work renovating the Pete Mathews Coliseum at Jacksonville State University (JSU). Although the existing stadium structure was in good condition, the internal layout needed a revitalized look and feel. A main issue with the older interior layout was the seating risers, which did not provide site lines needed for audiences to view all of the action on the court. Hoping to increase the experience for their fans, JSU invested $2 million into the renovation of the 41 year old facility, which wrapped up construction in late 2015. Part of Staging Concepts’ scope of work included the design, manufacture and install of entirely new seating risers for the stadium, which greatly improve sight lines and provide comfortable chair back seating overlooking the new court. On the baselines, bench seating was provided.
David Thompson, Director of Physical Plant at JSU, worked with Staging Concepts throughout the project. “There were two pieces to this project that proved to be challenging. The first was simply the size of the existing box that we had to play within, being the outside perimeter walls. It was certainly a challenge for Staging Concepts to be able to create an arena atmosphere as opposed to a gymnasium with seating. We were able to do that very well. The one thing we couldn’t do was have the seating through the arena be continuous, due to the fact that we had community restrooms and stairwells in the four corners of the venue. Having those preexisting conditions challenged us to think creatively.” Thompson said.
While athletic teams were temporarily moved to an alternate location during the renovations, Staging Concepts knew there was a very tight timeline on the project and that they would have to work quickly.
“The team at Staging Concepts and the installation crew that was here was absolutely outstanding. They came down the week before materials were delivered and took a look at the schematics, drawings, and existing conditions. Typical to construction of this magnitude, there will be many small conflicts that must be resolved. The installation crew, given their experience, was able to identify and address many of these conflicts before the first fastener was installed. If they weren’t as experienced and professional as they were, we certainly wouldn’t have finished when we did,” Thompson said.
Though the construction of the Pete Mathews Coliseum was an extremely fast-paced project, Staging Concepts delivered and installed its equipment, enabling the new home of the Jacksonville State Gamecocks to open as scheduled.
To achieve a solid, concrete-like feel for the seating riser, Staging Concepts designed and supplied over 100 heavy-duty, steel raker beams for the under structure along with nearly 1,000 custom 1” SC90 platforms.
To bring the arena up to code and make the arena IBC-compliant, Staging Concepts modernized the space with:
- 1,000 linear feet of railing along the front and sides of the seating risers
- Nearly 200 step units with black powder coated handrail
- Appropriate amount of ADA compliant seating capacity
Staging Concepts added the following design and finishing features to help achieve a new, modern look and feel to the arena:
- Custom gray polyvinyl SC90 platforms
- Gray polyvinyl fascia panels
- Custom black powder-coated handrail
The arena now features improved sight lines, added safety features and a modern, sleek appearance.