Allen's $60 Million Football Stadium a Casualty of "Improper" Concrete Work, Report Says

Categories: Sports

Thumbnail image for Allen_Eagle_Stadium2.jpg
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When Allen ISD announced two weeks ago that its brand-new, $60 million high school football stadium had developed cracks in the concourse, it was clear that someone had screwed up in epic fashion. One doesn't shut something down, disrupt graduation ceremonies, and call every reporter in earshot to a press conference because of a couple of hairline fractures.

Exactly how epic the failure was became clearer on Wednesday with the release of the preliminary engineering report that prompted Allen ISD to shutter the stadium.

The report offers a handful of potential solutions, ranging from basically sealing the cracks with epoxy to completely replacing the concourse's "elevated joist floor systems with a properly designed and constructed system." Guess which one is more expensive.

See also: Allen's Brand-New $60 Million High School Football Stadium Has Some Worrisome Cracks

The takeaway from the report, which was prepared by Nelson Forensics and obtained by The Dallas Morning News and NBC 5, is that the cracking is "well in excess of cracking that is normal and acceptable"; that the cracks are definitely the contractor's fault, though whether it was ""improper concrete placement, improper concrete finishing, improper concrete curing [or] improper structural design of reinforcing steel to control shrinkage cracking" has yet to be determined; that the stadium's useful life has been significantly decreased; and that the cracks have "potentially decreased [the stadium's] structural capacity," which would be particularly problematic when the stadium is filled with 18,000 people.

AllenStadiumCrack1.jpg
Not normal.

Pogue Construction, which built the stadium, has said that it will "comply with its contractual and warranty obligations," provided there is proof that it's at fault.

The company is taking the line that further investigation will be needed to determine who's responsible for the repairs. But with Nelson's preliminary report essentially absolving the architect, and with Pogue's name on the contract, it's hard to see who else it could be.

Send your story tips to the author, Eric Nicholson.

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46 comments
azimmiza
azimmiza

Crack kills.                                                                                                              (Spending $$$ on such obscene projects, when Texas has so many HS drop outs) 

jakefromstatefarm
jakefromstatefarm

trust me--the general contractor is NOT responsible for this...everything thing the g/c does is overseen by a construction management company, the architect, and the testing lab...the lab controls the placement, the consistency, and the curing of the concrete...any deviation from the specs by the g/c should have been caught by the construction manager or the testing lab...the onus is on THEM, not the g/c...the g/c is controlled at every turn by either the architect, the management company, or the testing lab...the g/c can't take a crap without the ok of at least two entities above him...they tell the g/c what to pour, when to pour, and how to pour...if they don't, they're not doing their jobs and the city of allen lost more money in other ways than the obvious ones...quit ragging on the g/c...just because his name is on the fence around the job doesn't mean that he actually controls anything...the general theory is that the g/c is going to do everything he can to do as cheap a job as he can as quickly as he can...the architect, the construction manager, and the lab are all there to insure that the g/c builds the job to specs...if he doesn't, it's the fault of management......thank you...

brad.mason.dallas
brad.mason.dallas

Or they could use the the good old scaffolding approach the Frank Crowley Courts Building Parking Garage uses to support their many levels.  I was there for Jury Duty a few months back and the parking garage was is such bad repair (again the slimeing of hands within Dallas County and City Hall) on every level several spots had supports underneath the failing structure.  Scary...

brad.mason.dallas
brad.mason.dallas

That third picture from below displays the severity of those cracks.  That will have to be demolished and new concrete set.


pazzoduc
pazzoduc

LOL, lots of uninformed haters & speculators of politics corruption and religion. Quite entertaining. These must be the same people that drive slow in the fast lane. 


Those elevated slab cracks look suspiciously like over temp concrete (it's not called cement BTW). They are shrinkage cracks for sure. Just speculating but it is also quite possible water was added to the trucks onsite, a huge no-no. This project was built under a very tight schedule in the heat of summer. Very easy to have problems. If the reinforcing steel was designed correctly, it is a concrete developed strength issue.


The only happy people in this are the haters and the lawyers.

Greg820
Greg820

In summary, someone got some real good money for a real lousy job.  But one makes the mental calculus:  Spend Y amount in bribes to get Yx1000 in return. When the work goes down the shitter the lawyers fade the heat, the bribees don't talk and if worse comes to worse one declares bankruptcy and then go about bidness under a new name.  Did I miss anything?  This has been going on long before when the Pharaohs asked why that cube they ordered came out a pyramid.

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

Having given this situation all due consideration, I hereby propose the city of Allen rename their stadium after the outgoing governor of Texas: Oops!

Research2014
Research2014

Definitely rugged work ethic on this job. I've done a bit of structural concrete and this looks very unusual.


There would be a rebar matrix in the webs that requires a minimum clearance from edge of rebar to outside surface. With cast in place, you want to allow for a much wider web to make sure the rebar is adequately placed with clearance to spare. With site cast it is hard to duplicate the same quality control in a factory precast system. In precast you generally build in a camber that levels under load. That is not easy in a field cast structure. You want a smooth surface with no calcium/lime blemishes, and as Grumpy says, curved edges and connections, or at least angled at the minimum.


The unusual patterns on the underside could be inadequate mixing or placement of the concrete. Hard to tell if it is water or calcium/lime but in a new building, this is odd.


On a job this size you have an engineer onsite who is supposed to watch the project like a hawk going after prey. No comment on that....

Mr.Grumpy
Mr.Grumpy

I've seen a lot of concrete floors from underneath, and that doesn't look like any I've seen. The webs (beams) are very thin, and they meet the upper slab at hard right angles. Every other cast concrete floor deck I've seen the webs are tapered (thicker at the top) and have rounded edges both on the bottom and where they join the upper slab. The rounded surfaces prevent what engineers call "stress risers"... by having sharp corners, stress will concentrate at the corner and cause cracks. Looks like a lazy and deliberate under-design by the architects/engineers to minimize materials and labor. Hey, that's what they do, but at the same time they're supposed to follow good engineering practices. 

ozonelarryb
ozonelarryb

Or water got in the cracks and froze - hydrologic fracturing.

duck01soup1
duck01soup1

In a Normal case There are checks and balances .Samples of the concrete are taken analyzed for for the mix, strength tested by destructive testing at an engineering lab that does those things .The Rebar has some type of certification that shows  it has been tested . .


I think this well be a interesting court case .

ahaha
ahaha

"improper concrete placement, improper concrete finishing, improper concrete curing [or] improper structural design of reinforcing steel to control shrinkage cracking"...Given the last possible cause as "improper structural DESIGN of reinforcing steel..." If work was installed per the architect/engineer's design the contractor won't be on the hook for repairs...

ozonelarryb
ozonelarryb

Looks large ke their god - football - has cracks in his feet of clay.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

Allen ISD should get out their bid/contract documentation and be sure the GC and the cement vendor carried adequate insurance.

dingo
dingo

The preliminary engineering report laid partial blame on the 600 member Allen marching band's especially rousing rendition of The White Stripes'  7 Nation Army.

Oxtail
Oxtail

In the Battle between Allen and Frisco, Frisco is winning. How long until the new Cowboys' facility and stadium is built?

ozonelarryb
ozonelarryb

Just hopin for a fracking earthquake close by.

ruddski
ruddski

Looks like El Comentarista Superior called it again.

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

*shrug*

60 million just doesn't go as far as it used to.

Did anybody check to see if this can be blamed on fracking?

kstogner
kstogner

@jakefromstatefarm jake, I think you have a good point but the article I read they are leaning toward it being a design flaw. Even if the general contractor told the architect the structure would not hold the weight of what was built on top of it, it is the architect who has to revise the plans where it will hold up the necessary weight.

drjeff0001
drjeff0001

@Greg820 The gc will have megadollars in insurance that will cover the construction, so it is not quite so easy to get away with this.

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

@Mr.Grumpy

I'm no concrete specialist - but those beams seemed way to skinny to me, too.

ruddski
ruddski

@mavdog

Actually, the entity responsible for the cracks will likely be the one poring over their insurance in a cold sweat.

ruddski
ruddski

@dingo

Figgers a racist organization was behind this.

ruddski
ruddski

@Credible

The contractor was likely a frackin' evangelical republican.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@ruddski

you are making a huge assumption the "entity responsible for the cracks" will still be an operating, viable business when the stuff hits the fan.

my bet is they are speaking to a bankruptcy atty already....

James_the_P3
James_the_P3

@ruddski One day someone will investigate how Pogue gets every lucrative school construction contract in Collin County.  I'm sure it has nothing to do with all those campaign contributions he walks around to Republican candidates up there.

Filldaddy
Filldaddy

@pazzoduc @ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul  


what about the contractors that were underbid by the winners?

ruddski
ruddski

@mavdog

Yeah. Like most, I have all my insurance policies memorized too.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@ruddski

the entity responsible for the cracks already knows what is stated in the insurance policy they took out, after all they bought it, that's why they are at the attorney's office.

ruddski
ruddski

@Mavdog

You're making assumptions about my assumptions.

Now let's look at your logic.

If the entity responsible is in fact, as you gambled, talking to a bankruptcy lawyer - don't you think they would do that *after* checking their insurance coverage to ascertain if bankruptcy were a viable or necessary option?

I'm assuming you know what insurance is for, of course.

ruddski
ruddski

@James

Could be. A local version of the Isaias brothers.

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