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Weather slows Harold Newman Arena construction

Construction of the Harold Newman Arena on the University of Jamestown campus continues in the freezing temperatures as crews work inside and outside the building. John M. Steiner / The Sun

Construction of the Harold Newman Arena at the University of Jamestown has slowed because of bad weather, according to Tom Heck, UJ vice president of planning and administration.

"The weather is creating a problem right now," Heck said.

The $15 million athletic complex will include a 2,000-seat arena, booster room, eight locker rooms, training facility, laundry room, two lounges, ticket booth, retail store and two concession areas. The building also features a belltower.

Construction of the 61,000-square-foot building began in May and is scheduled to open in August.

"We don't have much margin for error if we're going to finish on time," Heck said.

However, the first games aren't scheduled in the arena until September, so there is some extra time there, Heck said.

Time can be also made up working inside the building, Heck said, but it needs to be enclosed first. The construction crews need about five or six days of good weather to get the roof finished, Heck said.

"If January is a bad month, it'll cause problems," Heck said.

Heck said crews can work when the temperatures are low, but not when there is strong wind. The coating of ice on the roof has made it almost impossible for people to work on it, Heck said.

"Once we get some sun, it'll help," Heck said.

Brad Lundberg, project superintendent for JE Dunn Construction, the group building the arena, said construction workers are working when they can, but when the temperature is below minus 20 with a wind chill, it's too cold to work.

"We're working when it's safe to work," Lundberg said. "We're trying to maintain a schedule."

Lundberg said this week they have been working in an enclosed and heated area of the building, but will be working outside again next week. He said he expected cold weather, but not quite this much snow.

"We got spoiled the last couple of winters, this was a bit of a shocker," Lundberg said.

The project's contractors have agreed to use additional workers once there is some nicer weather, Heck said.

Various aspects of the building are being worked on, and the floor layout was just finished, Heck said. Equipment for the training and laundry rooms has been ordered, and the video and sound systems are being planned, he said.

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