Small structural adjustments add up to big gains for a university ice hockey arena.
In the July 2017 issue of Modern Steel Construction, Senior Structural Engineer John Savage writes about the structural challenges and solutions in the design of the Baxter Arena in Omaha, Nebraska.
Hockey reigns at the University of Nebraska Omaha’s (UNO) new Baxter Arena. The 220,000-square-foot, 7,800-seat venue has not one but two ice sheets: the competition ice for the school’s home team, the Mavericks, and the community ice, which is designated for public ice skating, curling and other activities. Although designed with hockey as its main tenant, the arena also hosts UNO’s basketball and volleyball games, along with concerts and graduations.
Early construction packages were essential to the success of the project. A grading package, foundation package and mill order package were provided to the contractor three months prior to any architectural drawings being issued. Close collaboration between the design team and the contractor concluded that a steel-framed structure would be the best option to meet the aggressive project schedule.