ATHENS — Georgia athletic director Josh Brooks provided an update on the status of Stegeman Coliseum on Thursday. The building, which houses Georgia’s men’s basketball, women’s basketball, gymnastics and volleyball teams, has been closed since March 2 after spalled concrete from the ceiling was found on the floor.
The repairs are currently underway and expected to be completed in time so that there are no disruptions to the 2023-24 schedule for the men’s and women’s basketball teams. The volleyball team will have to play its games next fall in the Ramsey Arena of the Ramsey Center.
Georgia partnered with engineering firm Walter P Moore to conduct a review of the arena and determine the issues. Per the review, there is the no belief that a major failure or collapse of the roof will happen. Repairs will be limited to concrete cracks and spalls at joints between precast elements.
Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates also conducted a peer review of the Walter P. Moore report.
The cracks in the roof formed due most likely to the thermal movement of the building, along with a combination of misalignment and small joint widths between precast forms.
The repairs are expected to cost in the seven-figure range, though Brooks could not provide a more accurate estimate than that. Georgia also plans to paint the ceiling of Stegeman Coliseum a darker color, in order to help give the venue a more modern feel. That will be done this summer.
The building was first opened in 1964. The roof was last replaced in 2008. The first documented case of spalled concrete from the ceiling came in the spring of 2018, a year after a new sound system and central scoreboard were installed in the arena.
Another piece of concrete was found in the fall of 2020.
Scaffolding has been installed throughout the facility in order to expedite the work. Repair efforts include sounding existing joints to remove any loose concrete and make any necessary repairs, sawcutting the joints at the nodes to relieve compressive stresses on the precast that are likely causing the spalls and installation of the soft protective barrier as an additional safety measure.
“We are going to be able to reopen Stegeman Coliseum safely for our teams and fans this fall, and over the summer, we will being the planning process for further ways to modernize the facility and substantially enhance the fan and student-athlete experience,” Brooks said in a prepared statement. “I think folks are really going to be excited about all that we have in store.”
Brooks was asked about the feasibility of a new venue, with the Georgia athletic director estimating that a potential cost would be north of at least $200 million. Georgia intends to explore ways to continue to modernize the venue, in addition to the current repairs.
In addition to the current repairs, a separate analysis of the roof and venue is underway and is expected to be completed later this summer. Stegeman has undergone renovations in 2010 and 2017 that may have further contributed to the current spalling.
Brooks also added that the volleyball may consider its future in Stegeman long-term depending on how the upcoming season goes. Volleyball had played at the Ramsey Center from 1995 through 2017. The team is coming off a 23-8 season and an NCAA Tournament appearance that saw the team advance to the second round.