Combining horse and greyhound racing with a top class restaurant and bars, Dundalk Stadium is one of the most popular entertainment venues in the north east of Ireland. However, that popularity does present some problems. When you’re undertaking an extension and refurbishment project, it’s usually behind closed doors and not in full view of the punters. Not on this occasion, with the stadium remaining fully operational as Killowen Contracts Ltd completed all works on a phased basis agreed with the client.
“Prior to commencement of work on site we met our client and design team to discuss their requirements and to ensure construction work could be completed without compromising their ability to continue business,” explained Killowen Contracts’ Director, Damien McGivern.
The result of those discussions was a works schedule that prioritized the client’s needs and accommodated horse and greyhound meetings on Ireland’s only all-weather track every Friday and Saturday, plus fortnightly Wednesday events (and during the busy Christmas and New Year holiday period).
The Dundalk Stadium project involved ground floor extension to the Bookies Enclosure and Bar, construction of a new Owners & Trainers Suite at second floor level, and reconfiguration and refurbishment of existing office suites. In addition, KIllowen Contracts Ltd was charged with the construction and installation of a high-visibility free-standing totem sign along the main Dundalk carriageway, complete with all signage, electrical, and data supply works.
“The scale of the sign and its electrical requirements meant a significant power supply and service trench extending to the stadium’s main supply board. Killowen Contracts worked with the client to complete civil works and any associated electrical shutdowns at times outside normal working hours and race meetings to avoid any disruption.”
“The Bookies Enclosure & Bar extension was located directly adjacent to the existing restaurant and betting areas, and we needed to construct temporary access through the site to the Parade Ring,” Damien added. “We collaborated with the client throughout to ensure race meetings were unaffected.”
Whatever your viewpoint, the new Bookies Enclosure is a real asset to the facility. “The extension required a new structural steel frame and multi-deck with a perimeter glass balustrade to form an external viewing deck overlooking both the Parade Ring and the Owners & Trainers. Internally, the area was finished to the highest standards, with intricate ceiling details and a new bar area which allows the stadium to facilitate increased corporate events with direct access to the racecourse.”
The stadium’s Owners and Trainers Suite, to be situated on the second floor, presented its own challenge. “A new steel frame had to be lifted and connected to the existing frame. This interior was then finished with a bar, dining space, and trophy cabinet, with increased areas of glazing to the elevations along with Rainscreen Terracotta Cladding.”
Although the individual components of the build appear relatively small, this was a complex overall project with a €800k budget. “With phased working, overtime considerations, decant arrangements, and specialist service shutdowns in keeping with stadium operations, it was essential to liaise closely with the client. We immediately formed a good working relationship with the Dundalk Stadium management, and were able to agree work processes early to ensure no disruption and the fulfilling of the events programme.
“Each stage of the 26-week build was handed over to the client through sectional completion, allowing them to utilise the space as soon as possible. We also completed minor refurbishment works and a central lift installation between events on the stadium’s schedule.”
The Dundalk Stadium…another visit to the winners’ enclosure for Killowen Contracts Ltd.
Glazing and curtain walling specialists Bann Architectural Systems Ltd were sub-contracted to work on the refurbishment of Dundalk Stadium, and punters will instantly notice the fruits of their labour.
A feature of the ground floor extension to the Bookies Enclosure, and construction of a new Owners & Trainers Suite at second floor level, is the clever use of curtain walling. “Curtain walling provides the opportunity to maximise the glazed areas, and to fill the space with natural light,” said Kyle Bowman from Bann Architectural Systems Ltd.
Bann Architectural Systems, based just off the A1 dual- carriageway between Dromore and Banbridge, has already demonstrated the company’s professionalism and quality on domestic and commercial projects across the country.
“We were delighted to add the Dundalk Stadium to Bann Architectural Systems’ portfolio, and to have worked alongside the main contractor Killowen Contracts.”
Hillside Interiors, specialists in high quality fitted furniture for more than three decades, brought a fresh, contemporary feel to the two new bars at Dundalk Stadium. A prominent feature was the use of HI-MACS, a solid surface material made from a composition of acrylic, minerals, and natural pigments.
“Combined they produce a smooth, non-porous, seamless surface,” said Director at Hillside Interiors, Harold Nicholson.
“As well as looking great, this material meets the highest quality standards for performance, fabrication, functionality, and hygiene.” High quality materials meet the highest standards of craftmanship, customer service and attention to detail – that’s the Hillside way.
“Hillside Interiors was delighted to work with main contractor Killowen Contracts and Hamilton Architects, and to have played our part in the extension and refurbishment at one of the north-east’s most popular sports and entertainment venues.”
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The task of erecting a new structural steel frame for the extension to Dundalk Stadium’s Bookies Enclosure was placed in the safe hands of James Alexander Engineering Ltd. Established in 2010, the Kilkeel- based firm are specialists in the design, fabrication, and erection of structural steelwork.
“On this contract the steel frame, with multi-deck and shear studding had to be erected between two existing buildings, making it slightly more challenging,” said a company spokesperson.
James Alexander Engineering Ltd was also involved in the construction and installation of a substantial free-standing totem sign along the main carriageway on the approach to the Dundalk Stadium.
“At James Alexander Engineering Ltd we were delighted to work alongside main contractor Killowen Contracts and Hamilton Architects on the extension and refurbishment. Despite the stadium remaining open during the works, the collaboration between architect, contractor, and management of the stadium meant we had full access and no disruptions.”
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