The USF Sun Dome in Tampa is undergoing a $35 million overhaul to give the aging facility 30 more years of life. According to the St. Petersburg Times, upgrades to the 250,000 square-foot arena include renovations like reconfiguring the seats to add a center scoreboard, concessions and restrooms in a new concourse level and opportunities for club-level viewing. Sims Crane employees are taking part in the demolition phase of this project.
The inside of the Sun Dome looks more like a post-apocalyptic waste land rather than the stomping grounds of an athletic institution this Thursday morning. Excavators and trucks maneuver around piles of concrete and debris gathered in different areas of the ground floor. In the midst of this activity is CCO Stanley “Bubba” Tillis. He’s hunkered down in a Grove GMK 5240-ton mobile crane. Oiler Will Mercado stands by. Both men are waiting for the word to start lifting a 34,000lb seating section in D-3.
The client this morning is Kimmins Contracting, a Tampa-based company that provides high quality, specialty contracting services to markets nationwide. Some of these services include earthwork and grading, concrete paving, directional drilling, tunneling, demolition and more.
The signal is given once the structure is rigged. The boom slowly rises high in the air, swinging the concrete block to one side, before it lowers it to the ground floor. This lift is one in a string of work the duo, have done since the beginning of the week. At this rate, the project will be finished by its expected April 2012 completion date.