- Two construction workers on the $106 million Bryant-Denny Stadium renovation project at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa were hospitalized with serious injuries after two structural precast concrete beams reportedly fell on the manlift the two were operating, according to ABC 33/40. The station reported that one of the workers was paralyzed and the other sustained massive head trauma.
- Dean Gwin, the president and COO of precast manufacturer Gate Construction Materials Group/Gate Precast, ABC reported, was onsite after the accident. Gwin said senior staff for the unnamed precast installation company was also present at the stadium project.
- The project is shut down. Gwin's company and OSHA are investigating the cause of the accident.
"We are looking into the cause of the accident and our thoughts and prayers are with the two men injured and their families," according to a statement Gwin provided to ABC.
Caddell Construction is the general contractor for the project, winning an $84.6 million contract for the work in September. In a press release issued at the time of the award, Caddell said the construction schedule "is extremely tight," since the project must be completed before college football season begins this year.
Work on the stadium, according to the university, includes larger video scoreboards at the stadium's corners; a student concourse; an expansion of premium seating, lounge and club space; press box relocation to the east side of the stadium; locker room upgrades; a recruiting lounge; renovations to the tunnel that the team uses to enter the field; additional elevators; and construction of a new tunnel that will extend the Walk of Champions into the game day locker room. The upgrades will reduce the stadium's total seating capacity by only a few hundred seats, allowing it to accommodate more than 100,000 fans.
The Bryant-Denny renovations are part of a 10-year, $600 million capital program, the Crimson Standard, that will also see upgrades to other athletic facilities at the university. The stadium work is part of the first of three phases.
Colleges and universities across the country are improving their athletic facilities with more comfortable seats, upgraded concession stands and high-tech training rooms. Many also aim to bring fans closer to the on-field action. For instance, the Bunker Club at the University of Missouri's Faurot Field at Memorial Stadium, which just completed a $100 million facelift, offers spectators ground-level sight lines to watch games and greet players as they enter the field.
Several other college football facilities completed major renovations last year, including a $315 million overhaul of the University of Southern California Trojans' stadium and a $304 million renovation of the Sun Devil Stadium at Arizona State University to modernize the venue while increasing its usability for non-football events.