Paulson construction to impact gamedays

Robert Huitt


Paulson Stadium’s makeover has slowly progressed over the summer and Georgia Southern University football fans will have to adjust on game days.

With the ongoing construction, fans attending football games can expect some inconveniences this season.

The GSU Athletic Department released a guide and map to help fans navigate around the stadium. Maps can be found at ticket windows and will highlight construction zones, ticket booths, open gates and the tailgate zone.

Construction zones around the stadium will be off limits to fans. The area for grass seating behind the east end zone will be closed due to the construction of the Football Operations Center.

James Woodward, the jobsite superintendent for Evans General Contractors, said the poor weather Statesboro has received the past two months has been the primary holdup.

“The rain has had a tremendous effect on the progress,” Woodward said. “We can’t work in the rain, especially with the lightning and thunderstorms we’ve been having.”

There are two major construction projects currently in progress at the stadium – the construction of a Football Operations Center and the addition of 6,000-6,200 new seats to the stadium.

Evans General Contractors is handling the construction of the $10 million Football Operations Center, which will be 50,000-square feet. The privately funded center will house new locker rooms, offices, training facilities and a Hall of Fame to honor the gridiron heroes of yesteryear.

The Brasfield & Gorrie construction firm is focused primarily on the stadium’s expansion. Last year, Georgia Southern University students voted for a $25 fee to fund the expansion.

An upper deck will be built to provide 4,000 additional seats. There will also be two lower-level areas with about 1,000-1,100 new seats each.

Despite the recent weather, Woodward said they have been able to install storm drains and begin work on the concrete foundation of the Football Operations Center.

To control the flow of people entering the stadium, there have been changes made to the entrance gates.

Gates 1 and 7 will serve students only. Gate 1 is near the Chandler Road and Lanier Drive intersection, across the street from Parker’s. Gate 7 can be found near Malecki Drive, on the opposite side of the stadium from Gate 1.

Gate 2, located near the Cowert Building on Lanier Drive, will be closed for the season. Gate 3 will serve as the best alternative for those who used Gate 2 in the past due to its proximity. Gates 3, 4, 4A, and 6 will serve as general admission gates and will be open to all fans.

Construction began on June 12 and is expected to be complete by May 2014.