S. B. Ballard Construction Co. submits P3 proposal for new football stadium at ODU
The S. B. Ballard Construction Co. in Virginia Beach submitted a proposal Tuesday to build a new football stadium for Old Dominion University.
The proposal would replace the existing Foreman Field with a 25,000-seat stadium that Ballard says is a more cost-effective option than what is currently in the university’s master plan.
The S.B. Ballard team of Clark Nexsen, an engineering and architecture firm, and AECOM, which designs, builds, finances and operates infrastructure assets, takes an approach under the state’s PPEA law (public private education infrastructure act).
The plan would deliver a new stadium at a cost under $124 million that would open in 2018, in time for the Monarch’s first home game that year. Reportedly, financing for the stadium would come from university funding and new revenue generated by the stadium and fundraising.
“This proposed stadium would look like a big-time facility. Right now, what they have doesn’t look that impressive for an FBS team,” said Stephen B. Ballard, the president and CEO of S.B. Ballard Construction.
“Time is money, we have completed $700 million worth of projects with the commonwealth. We know how the process works and how best to get projects done more quickly and at a lower price. We’ve developed a schedule that we can keep. We have tried to figure out how much we think they can afford, and we are hoping to show them what we can build for that amount, get their feedback and see if the university likes it. Then we’ll sit down and see if we can tweak it and make it work. It is really up to Old Dominion to fill in the blanks, to tell us what they want and what they can afford,” Ballard added.
“I do this for so many other projects. Why shouldn’t I do it for a university that I love so much? It is really up to Old Dominion moving forward. Sometimes you don’t get a project. If that happens, that’s okay. I truly want what’s best for the university.”
According to the company, a proposal in ODU’s December 2013 master plan places a new stadium at the site of the existing ODU Powhatan Apartments. While this site has its benefits, the company said in a press release that “construction obstacles are significant in both time and cost, requiring the relocation of housing for 700 students prior to the commencement of the proposed new stadium in addition to requiring new infrastructure, access roads, and parking, with a total estimated cost of more than $245 million and over 6 +/- years to complete.”
Under its PPEA proposal, S. B. Ballard says there would be no impact to the existing campus housing. Replacing 79-year-old Foreman Field, which has about a little more than 20,000 seats, would minimize the impact of the project on surrounding neighborhoods, the company added, while also minimizing road improvements and adding a parking garage option.
Moreover, the proposal would preserve previous field infrastructure investments of more than $30 million, the company said.
Under the state’s guidelines and procedures for PPEA submissions, ODU may accept or reject the proposal for further consideration.
“Thus far, we have not had the benefit of any detailed university input in the development of our proposal. If the university elects to proceed with further refinement and negotiation of our concept, then the university will have significant input into the final product,” S. B. Ballard said in its statement.