El Paso: Sun Bowl Stadium $16.25 Million Renovation to Commence by October
Feature Illustration: Bird’s-eye view of the GECU Terrace, which will include a Sky Lounge, modern press box and other amenities. Courtesy: UTEP.
by Adolfo Pesquera
El Paso (El Paso County) — The architectural designs for the $16.25 million renovation of Sun Bowl Stadium are expected to be approved in September, according to a University of Texas System regents report.
Meanwhile, the deadline for bids for a Construction Manager-at-Risk was August 14 and the preferred contractor selection is pending. The bidding companies were Dantex Construction Co. and Noble General Contractors LLC, according to University of Texas-El Paso records.
Asked about the status of the CMAR, UTEP officials told VBX, “The University of Texas at El Paso is in the solicitation stage of the Sun Bowl Renovation project, so we cannot share any information concerning this project as it has not been yet awarded.”
During the Aug. 9-10 session of the UT System Board of Regents, the chancellor concurred with a recommendation to include the total project cost of $16.25 million to the 2019-2024 Capital Improvement Program. The appropriation of the funds will allow UTEP to proceed to the construction phase.
A notice to proceed is expected to be forthcoming by October. UTEP wants the stadium renovation substantially completed by August 2019, in time for the 2019 Fall UTEP Miners football season.
Concept for the west concourse remodel at Sun Bowl Stadium. Courtesy: UTEP.
Financing for the $16.25 million is coming from two sources–$12 million from the Revenue Financing System bond proceeds, and $4.25 million from gifts.
UTEP Facilities Management is managing the project. The selection process for an architectural/engineering team began in 2017. Schematic designs and the detailed cost estimate have been completed.
In April, UTEP officials announced the modernization project for the 55-year-old stadium, but the cost estimate was then reported as between $10 million and $15 million.
The project allows for structural repairs to the upper section of the stadium west stands, the need for ADA-compliant seating access, the remodeling of restrooms to make them code compliant, and modernization of the press box tower.
Concept for the proposed GECU Terrace, featuring club seats, loge boxes, a cantina and concessions, social spaces and restrooms. Courtesy: UTEP.
GECU (Government Employees Credit Union) is sponsoring the concourse enhancement. The GECU Terrace will be the name for the new air-conditioned press box facility, which is to include luxury boxes, loge boxes, and party areas.
This is the first major renovation to the stadium since it was expanded in 1982-1983 from 30,000 to 52,000 seats.In addition to widening the concourse, the project will add elevators to the west side.
Project Cost Detail:
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Side view of the proposed press box tower, includes new facade, drop-off area, lobby, renovated press area. Existing club level to be upgraded with new Sky Lounge. Courtesy: UTEP.
Adolfo Pesquera (Reporter/Editor) is a veteran news journalist. He has worked for Hearst Corp., American Lawyer Media, News Corp and Freedom Communications. His work has been published in newspapers and magazines across the USA. He is a journalism graduate of UT-RGV. He writes, edits and creates digital pages for VBX.