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$40M Restoration of Miami Stadium Underway

Monday, July 31, 2017

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A weathered, graffiti-covered Miami waterfront stadium is finally getting the renovations it has needed for years, and the overhaul will come at cost of more than $40 million.

Miami Marine Stadium opened in 1963, the first stadium built expressly for powerboat racing; it was closed in 1992 by the city in the wake of Hurricane Andrew. In recent years, it's fallen into disrepair, but even in light of its dilapidated state, architect R.J. Heisenbottle was of the opinion that the structure could be saved and brought back to life. His proposal for work has been approved, and Phase 1 of the renovation endeavor has been completed, with this portion focusing on pre-design planning.

Restoration Report

According to Miami Today, the entire restoration for the Miami Marine Stadium will cost over $40 million, and the updated version of the structure will also include a new version of the floating stage.

Heisenbottle’s report, which was the product of Phase 1 of the project, indicated that the restoration would involve removal of several layers of graffiti, as well as replacing old wooden seats with molded plastic ones. The architect also consulted with a variety of experts, such as structural engineers and landscape architects, when he was compiling the report.

Heisenbottle recommended in the report that once exposed concrete surfaces are restored, they should be sealed with appropriate clear siloxane water repellant sealer to ensure longevity.

“The original architectural components, most of which are seriously deteriorated or have been vandalized, should be restored or replaced to meet current Florida Building Code requirements,” the report said.

“All original handrails and safety guardrails should be replaced in a manner sensible to the original nautical concept but should be constructed of anodized aluminum or marine-grade stainless steel due to the marine environment exposure.”

According to Miami Today, the report also detailed that the $40,323,361 cost estimate included a 10 percent contingency allowance of $3,665,760.

New equipment is slated to cost $12.1 million, 33 percent of the overall projected cost. Concrete work would weigh in at $9 million, accounting for 24 percent. A new electrical system would cost $2,692,731.46, or 7 percent of the total cost for renovations.

Restoration Pre-Planning

Before official approval was granted by the city to fix the stadium, Heisenbottle had been asked for his professional opinion on whether or not the structure could be brought back up to speed.

“We know from past experience, it is restorable,” Heisenbottle said at the time.

In November of 2016, city commissioners approved a $45 million bond proposal to borrow money to renovate and improve the stadium. Part of the original budget was also to include work on the barrier island, much of which is owned by the city proper.

Choosing the Contractor

Originally, three firms responded to the city of Miami’s request for qualifications for architectural and engineering services for the project. Heisenbottle’s firm was chosen because of its proposal and its experience.

“The committee members unanimously agreed that Heisenbottle’s team has the most historical restoration experience and presented a proposal specifically suited to meet the unique needs of this iconic project,” said the December 2016 staff assessment.

The proposed agreement between the firm and the city indicated that the total cost for Phase 1 of the project should not exceed $1,295,624.81.


Tagged categories: Historic Preservation; Historic Structures; Maintenance + Renovation; North America; Preservation; Renovation; Seacoast exposure

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