Emory Athletic Facilities Undergoing Major Renovations
People entering the Woodruff PE Center on the Emory campus will
see and and hear the signs of construction including bulldozers,
jackhammers, shovels and sledgehammers as a pair of widely-used
facilities undergo major renovations.
The outdoor track, along with the Madeleine Jude Brown Aquatic Center, are in the process major facelifts in time for the 2010-11 academic year.
After 27 years following its completion, the outdoor track will get a new surface as well as some other significant changes that promise to make it one of the premier venues in the nation. Working with the Weinbel Sports Corporation, the same company that installed the WPEC’s original track in 1983, the current surface will be ground up and replaced with a 7mm thickness polyurethane plus EPDM granule texture embedded in the very top of the poly surface. This will help make the track one of the most comfortable and appealing facility of its kind in the country. The new track surface is formulated with resins derived from plants which were part of the Emory track formulation in 1983. Weinbel Sports Corporation has designed and constructed tracks all over the United States including the competition sites during the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles and the 1986 Pan American Games.
In addition to the new surface, the project includes the installation of subsurface drainage in various places to prevent the pooling of water on the turns and on the apron where the high jump takes place. Weinbel is also building an extension on the west side of the track, allowing for sprints to be run in either direction.
“The time has come to replace a track that has
served the University and the community so well,” Emory
Athletic Director Tim Downes said. “ Between
intercollegiate, intramural and community track practices and
meets, as well as extensive recreational use, the track facility is
one of the most popular spaces in the WPEC and the new track will
better serve all of our users with a state of the art
surface. The commitment by the University to this project is
a wonderful statement to the value of athletics and recreation
within this community.”
“We are pleased to return to work for Emory 27 years later.” stated George Weinbel, President of Weinbel Sports Corporation. “In 1983, we built Emory’s track, and my father provided Emory with a five-year guarantee. I do not believe he ever imagined twenty-seven years of use.
“We know from world records that our formulation performs, and from athletes who train daily that our surface is comfortable. We also aware from Emory University that our product meets the highest criteria for sustainability.”
The Woodpec’s swimming facility, also constructed in 1983, will begin Phase II of its enhancement which will be performed by Water Works of Atlanta. Among the improvements will be the replacement of all the deck tile with non-slip 2” x 2” tiles. This includes the removal of the black tiles that border the area. Replacement tiles will be light smoke in the field, with blue and yellow pattern work as a pool border.
Water Works will sound the pool for tile integrity, repairing in-pool tiles as necessary, and re-grout all the tiles in the pool. They will follow up with a water tightness test after removing the underwater lights and filling them with grout and covering with tile to match. In addition, new fiberglass will be provided for the bulkhead, and the in-deck timing system will also be replaced to accommodate a 10-position short course with two deck harnesses for the long course.
To improve the gutter system, Water Works will re-caulk the seam between the gutter and the shell wall, repair cracks and holes in stainless steel and clean stainless steel. This includes the installation of a surge recover system to correct gutter overflow/flooding, and they will drill holes in the current system to reduce the velocity of the return water.
Finally, this phase also includes an in-deck hot tub to
accommodate divers during practice and competition. This will
be located in the northwest corner of the pool deck.
Phase I of the project involved positively affecting the filtration system and the pumps and motors that run it. Existing filters, pump and the mechanical system were removed and replaced with an entirely new filter system. In addition, a medium pressure UV system to filter the water was installed that aided in improving the air and water quality in the natatorium. Finally, automatic controls for the pool heat exchanger were put in place, making it easier to control and maintain proper water temperature.
“The aquatic center at Emory has long been regarded as one of the premier facilities in the southeast, but the reality is that the pool was built almost 30 years ago, and it is time for an upgrade,” said Emory head swimming coach Jon Howell. “This renovation will update the pool, beautify it, and bring it up to current competitive standards. It is an exciting project and demonstrates Emory's continued support of athletic excellence.”