SBJ/December 1 - 7, 2003/Facilities

Venue only the start of improvements on Mercer campus

Mercer’s new arena seats 3,200, or 2,700 more than the university’s old gym.
Mercer University Arena, the focal point of a $100 million campus improvement program, opens Jan. 8 with the Mercer men's basketball team facing Gardner-Webb University.

The new arena is more than six times larger than the team's previous home. Porter Gym, a 70-year-old facility, has a capacity of 500 compared with the new arena's 3,200 seats.

In addition to a new arena, the Mercer University Center project provides a food court and coffee shop, along with a host of student athletic facilities, such as a lap pool, aerobics room and running track. The facility also will house the school's athletic department offices.

According to university estimates, the center's construction has had a $150 million economic impact on the Macon, Ga., area, mostly through the creation of new jobs.

The new arena, along with providing the potential for greater ticket revenue, holds the possibility of bringing premium-seating revenue to the university through the sale of three luxury suites. Porter Gym has no such seating. Prices on the suites were still being negotiated as of early November.

Special events, including non-university events, also are being targeted as a source of additional revenue.

Mercer University Arena

City: Macon, Ga.

Tenants: Mercer University men's and women's basketball, women's volleyball

Owner and operator: Mercer University

Architect: Cooper Carry Inc.

General contractor: Beck Group/New South (joint venture)

No. of seats: 3,200

No. of suites/club seats: 3/0

Projected cost: $40 million

Funding: 100 percent from an athletic department capital campaign

Concessionaire: Aramark*

Pouring rights: Coca-Cola*

Scoreboard provider: Electro-Mech Scoreboard Co.

Seat provider: Interkal LLC

Floor provider: Connor Sports Flooring Corp.

First game: Jan. 8, men's basketball vs. Gardner-Webb

* Not a new contract; company held business at Porter Gym

Company Work performed
Allied Materials Handling Inc. Overhead doors and loading dock
Alpha Insulation Co. Sprayed fire proofing
American Awning Fabricators Inc. Awnings
American Pan & Engineering Co. Concrete formwork
Astra Group Swimming pool
Atlanta Bin & Shelving Lockers
Bartimaeus Inc. Shades
Bibler Masonry Masonry
Blount Rigging & Erecting Structural steel erection
Bonitz Flooring Group Resilient flooring and carpet
Captain Rebar Reinforcing installation
Centex Pest Control Soil treatment
Chesapeake Construction Concrete placing
Circle Group Drywall, acoustical ceilings, EIFS
Columbus Cabinets Millwork
Construction Specialties Inc. Wall protection
Contract Connection Inc. Material supplier
Dial Doors Doors
Donco Inc. Toilet access and partitions
Duval Design Fabric panels
East Coast Fire Protection Fire protection
ECM Fabrics Modular walls
Environmental Graphics Signage
General Steel Reinforcing material
Glass Service Center Glass and glazing
Houston Steel Structural steel
Irby Ironworks Miscellaneous metals
Joe Burton Co. Fire extinguishers and cabinets
L.E. Schwartz Roofing
LaFarge Concrete material
Madrax Material supplier
Marble Granite Tile Imports Tile
Mark Henderson Inc. Electrical
Metro Waterproofing Waterproofing
Mock Plumbing and Mechanical Inc. HVAC and plumbing
Nucor-Vulcraft Joist and decking
Otis Elevator Co. Elevators
Piedmont Landscaping Landscaping
Pleasants Contract Hardware Co. Door frame hardware
Southeastern Interior Construction Co. Ceramic tile
Southeastern Surfaces and Equipment Mondo flooring
Southern Flooring Wood flooring
Thomas Mason Inc. Sitework and asphalt paving
Uni-Sky Corp. Skylights
Unique Paving Systems Inc. Concrete pavers
Walter H. Hopkins Co. Mobile storage shelving
Wink Davis Equipment Co. Laundry equipment
Won-Door Corp. Special doors
Zeigler Paint Painting and wallcovering
Sources: Mercer University, Beck Group/New South
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