by Geoff Larcom, Published March 29, 2011
YPSILANTI – Eastern Michigan University's new Indoor Athletic Practice Facility has been honored as one of the top construction projects in the Washtenaw County area last year in an annual competition sponsored by the Washtenaw Contractors Association.
Eastern won first-place honors for "Best Project Team" in the category for new facilities costing between $3 million and $25 million in the 14th Annual Pyramid Awards. The award represents the highest local recognition an organization in southeastern Michigan can receive for collaborative efforts in designing and constructing a project.
The awards recognize exceptional efforts in the areas of teamwork, service and innovation. EMU beat out the four other nominated finalists in its category.
"Receiving the 2011 Pyramid Award for the 'Best Project Team' is a recognition we all can be very proud of," said John Donegan, EMU's chief of operations. "It highlights the collaboration that was needed by the designers, constructors and owner in making this very unique project a success."
The Pyramid Award winners are selected by an independent jury composed of a cross section of industry experts from outside the southeast Michigan area. This year's judging took place in Washington D.C.
To win, a project must involve a high level of cooperation between the owner, architect and contractor that resulted in a noteworthy improvement in some aspect of the project such as quality, budget, completion time or safety record.
Honored were Turner Construction Company, the contractor; BEI & Associates, the project architect and EMU. Each team member received a certificate and a granite trophy.
Teams were also honored for projects costing more than $25 million, and for projects costing less than $3 million. The University of Michigan Football Stadium expansion and renovation won in the large-project category, and the Camp Michigania Dining Hall won for small project team.
The $3.9 million EMU inflatable athletic practice facility, which sits prominently off Huron River Drive at the north end of Rynearson Football Stadium, opened in June 2010.
The facility is used by the varsity football, golf, soccer, baseball and softball teams, along with intramural and club sports and area community youth sports groups.
The facility is a permanent air-supported structure that is 410 feet long, 210 feet wide, and 76 feet tall. It includes a welcome center (1,100 square feet) and convertible space (86,000 square feet) that can be configured for a football field, an international soccer field, four youth soccer fields or two youth baseball/softball fields. There is also is an adjacent, 100-space parking lot.