GCISD trustees approve changes to Mustang Panther Stadium stairwell


Editor’s note: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated the issue presented at the meeting. The issue is the aesthetics of the exposed spray-fireproofing of structural beams and the change approved is for the sheetrock walls that will be put up to match the walls in the stairwells.

Architects for Grapevine-Colleyville ISD’s Mustang Panther Stadium have suggested additional work to ensure the completed stadium meets the district’s standards.

At the Jan. 25 GCISD board of trustees meeting, trustees approved $78,000 for additional work and provided these funds from a contingency budget for the stair towers of the stadium’s press box.

Huckabee architect Lowell Taylor explained to trustees due to the height of the stadium, the structural steel members that support the press box are to be fire protected. The steel members were designed with fire protection and have been constructed accordingly. The material that is sprayed onto these steel members is not typically visually pleasing when left exposed, Taylor explained, therefore the board had to consider a proposed change to cover the fireproofing with drywall and paint.

“We did the most economical option, … which is spray-on fireproofing,” Taylor said. “Unfortunately, that is not as aesthetically pleasing, but when Lee Lewis [the contractor]was consulted, which would be the best option for the dollar amount that we had, that was the recommendation to go that way.”

Taylor further commented that there have been a number of discussions with the construction and architectural teams recently, along with the district where several options were discussed about what could be proposed as the most cost-effective way to conceal this material in these areas.

“The spray-on fireproof that was used is not durable in an exposed environment because people can pick at the material and remove it, and diminish its performance,” district documents stated. “It is also not aesthetically attractive. For these reasons, the structure now has to be covered.”

Trustees agreed the fireproofing on the stairwell needed to be covered, but then asked why the district, as the customer, was being asked to pay for the architecture firm and contractor’s error.

Gary Rademacher, also with Huckabee, agreed with trustees. He said while the changes to cover the fireproofing to the structure would have been an additional cost in the contractor’s bid, it would not have been $78,000 worth of costs. He assured trustees Huckabee would assist the district with the damages.

“There is some difference between what it would have originally been bid and what they’ve issued here as a change, so what we have worked on throughout all these projects and previous bonds is we’re going to help with that,” Rademacher said. “So I understand the frustration. You can’t understand how frustrated we are as well. But hopefully that helps alleviate some of the angst here because that’s our partnership.”

Rademacher assured trustees that the Huckabee team members have been working with the district’s Construction Manager to scrutinize the proposed pricing and they would continue to do so through the completion of the work.

Officials stressed the district has contingency funding that will allow them to cover the fireproofing material.

Trustees approved the contingency funds 6-1, with board President Lisa Pardo voting against.

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Miranda Jaimes
Miranda has been in the North Texas area since she graduated from Oklahoma Christian University in 2014. She reported and did design for a daily newspaper in Grayson County before she transitioned to a managing editor role for three weekly newspapers in Collin County. Now she's in Tarrant County, mostly, and has been an Impacter since 2017 as the editor of the Grapevine/Colleyville/Southlake edition.
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