Project File: Sporting a new look

The Ben Dial Athletic Complex in the DeSoto Independent School District (Texas) is being updated with a new open-concourse stadium design. The existing complex no longer could support the practice or competition needs of the district's athletic program.

The planning strategy for the complex includes a 5,000-seat home-side grandstand and athletic complex, and the refurbishment of a 5,000-seat visitor grandstand.

The parking lot area behind the new home stands is 6 to 7 feet above field level, which made it possible to build athletic program facilities below the new seating. This led to economies in the combined use of structural and foundation elements. The idea also is appropriate for an elevated, open-concourse design, which allows patrons to view the field before reaching their seats.

A 30,000-square-foot, home-team athletic facility below the concourse will house locker rooms, a weightroom, coaches' offices, classrooms and a training facility.

A single-story press box is designed to crown the upper deck and will serve the home team, and the existing press box on the opposite side of the field will accommodate the visiting team.

Project upgrades include parking and traffic-control improvements, a public-address system and sports lighting. Completion is scheduled for August 2005.

The architect for this project is HKS Education Sports Group (Dallas).

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