MSU Football Stadium Expansion Update

Mississippi State Associate A.D./Facility Management & Construction Bobby Tomlinson provides an update on the Davis Wade Stadium expansion project.

Schedule-wise, how is the contractor doing with the stadium expansion?
"They are doing really well. The contractual completion date is August 20th and they see no reason why they won't meet that date. We'll actually start putting the FF&E in August 1st. That's the finishings and furniture. We are actually going through the process of picking out those things right now."

I hadn't really thought about the furniture. Is that your responsibility, too?
"There are a lot of us that are responsible for that. We have an interior designer that is part of the design team of LPK and 360. And she's working with us to pick out those things, things like the carpet, the color of the wood on the doors, the tile and the furniture. And Scott (Stricklin) has a lot of input in it as well."

What is the process of coming up with the FF and EN?
"(The interior designer) will make suggestions and we'll go through the process of looking at her suggestions. Then, we'll make our recommendations. After that, we'll take it to Scott Stricklin. In fact, we are taking it to Scott this week to make sure he is ok with it."

How long did it take to pick out the FF&E?
"It took us about a month to do it. Prior to that, we had to give the contractor finish schedules. We had to give him what carpet we wanted, what color mill work we wanted, what kind of tile we wanted and bathroom fixtures, those kind of things.

"This is when it actually gets really busy for me, toward the end of the project. I'm not an architect, an engineer a contractor. My job is to coordinate everything so that they are staying on time."

What other things are going on other than the main project and the FF&E?
"Another project that is going on right now is the graphics and the way-finding. Way-finding is the door signs and the section signs. Those signs are there to help people find their seats. That's a separate package from the other contract. We had our first phase with that on the west side of the stadium. The second phase will have a lot more graphics. There will be wall graphics, column graphics."

Wasn't there a significant milestone recently by the regular contractor?
"Yes, we made our last structural pour at the stadium last week. That is a milestone. Structural pours are your beams, your slabs on decks and slabs on grades. All the pours have been done on the super structure. What we have left are the pre-cast structures. That is what you are seeing being set in place to create the bowl of the stadium. That's where the people will sit. We will finish that by the end of this month. Even if they have a little weather delay they still feel good about finishing it by the first week in March. That's also when the scoreboard club will be done."

Once those things are done, what is the next step in the project?
"They've already started the process of installing the drywall on the club level and skybox level. They've also started the framing for the drywall on the ground level as far as the Gridiron level and the locker room. Some sheet rock is also being put in as well.

"There is also some glass in the club levels and exterior precast walls that they will start installing, hopefully, this week if the weather allows it."

When will the new scoreboard be installed?
"Hopefully, you'll start seeing the steel structure for it go up next week. They are hoping they can start installing the video board portion of it in March. Once they install the video part of it, then they have to come back and skin it with the medal panels."

I know there are also going to be more elevators installed. What is going on with them right now?
"Right now, we are installing the elevator on the north ramp. We call them 5 and 6. They'll start installing the actual elevator in the next couple of weeks. The CMU block is being stalled for the 3 and 4 elevator, which is in the middle where we have our grand entrance. That should also be complete in the next couple of weeks."

How many new elevators will be installed?
"If you count the ones on the West side that we used this fall, then we will have seven new elevators. One of the seven is a service elevator."

What about restrooms and concessions for the north endzone?
"There will be new restrooms and concessions areas that will service the lower and mid-bowl of the new endzone. That is the student seating. The club level and skybox will also have their own."

What happens the final month of the contract?
"That's when the finish touches are done, when you do your punch list."

Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the website, the source for Mississippi State sports on sports network. You can contact him by emailing

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