Construction leaders of Pinnacle Bank Arena could hardly repeat those words enough Friday during a media tour of the $179 million building, set for completion in September 2013.
“This is one of the largest projects ever in the city of Lincoln,” Hampton Construction President Bob Caldwell said. “We are on time right now with our schedule. And we are not going to go over budget.”
The new home for Nebraska men's and women's basketball, plus city events such as concerts and meetings, reached a milestone this week. The first truss for the roof was installed, with roof completion expected by November.
Two types of climate have created benefits for the arena, said John Hinshaw of Mortenson Construction, which is partnering with Hampton Construction.
The slowdown in the economic climate allowed for savings to be built into subcontracts for materials and labor, Hinshaw said. Also, the unseasonably warm and dry weather has allowed steady work through the winter, spring and summer.
Some notable features of Pinnacle Bank Arena, which will seat just short of 16,000:
• The upper deck is split in two. Said Hinshaw: “Instead of walking up a lot of rows to a very high seat, a lot of patrons will walk down to their seat (after an escalator ride).”
• Concourses will be open to the center of the arena, allowing views of the floor even while going for concessions.
• The center-hung scoreboard will be the first high-definition screen in the Big Ten.
• The north end of the bowl will remain open, but already is configured for possible expansion by about 2,000 seats. Also, piping has been installed under the floor to allow for the making of ice if there ever is a hockey tenant.
“You don’t have to put in everything now,” Caldwell said, “but you have to be ready for the future.”
Husker coaches and staff have keenly observed the building process.
“The coaches are interested in their facilities and where their locker rooms are going to be,” Hinshaw said. “The recruiting coaches are very interested in the amenities for recruiting.”
The building is basketball-centric, meaning it was designed first for a close-to-the-court experience.