For over forty years, the Toronto Blue Jays baseball club has been making its way to the city of Dunedin, Florida, for spring training. Back in 2014, Dunedin and the Blue Jays began talks for a new Player Development Complex, and years of planning and hard work paid off when the finished complex was unveiled earlier this year. This was a massive undertaking that required a large, dedicated team of contractors, and APG was proud to play a part! Our experience on major stadium projects at Amalie Arena, Raymond James, USF, and the Atlanta Braves Spring Training complex gave us a proven record of success in sports and helped APG land this job. We provided BIM coordination, electrical, fire alarm, structured cabling, security, and audio/visual services.
Construction began in early 2019, when Gilbane Building Company broke ground on the ballpark and training center designed by Populous Architects. Plans included major upgrades throughout the existing facility and increasing the seating capacity from 5,500 to 8,500. More room to watch the games! Three new training fields, a new half field, 7-bay batting cages, and two mounds were added. The clubhouse and administration building totals 110,000 square feet, and is full of the latest in sports training technology. There’s a state-of-the-art hydrotherapy training area with a variable depth pool, a 10,000 square foot weight training and conditioning area, a pitching lab, training rooms, staff collaboration spaces, eight Major and Minor League locker rooms, and a barbershop. Three new steel buildings accommodate an agility field and multi-bay batting tunnels. Special features of the complex include two new pitching mounds fitted out with high-speed cameras to monitor pitches and analyze player technique.
The clubhouse is fed by a new 3000A service and backed up by a 150kW stand-by generator. Project Superintendent Augie Manfre Jr. and Project Foreman Dave Werner had the huge task of overseeing the installation of over 90,000 feet of conduit and 80 miles of wire. They also coordinated the work of our other groups, all of whom had substantial scope on the job. The Engineering Group kicked things off with advance 3D BIM coordination of the site. Our Voice Data Group installed a fiber backbone to 8 different buildings and terminated more than 1,200 drops of CAT-6 for data, phones, wireless access points, and security cameras. Our Audio Visual Group installed and commissioned equipment for a two-way divisible training room, a boardroom, and a Major League classroom conference space. More than fifty speakers connect the building and practice fields with a five-zone Public Address system for communications and background music, and a whopping 140 high-definition displays were installed throughout the facility. Our Security Group installed a major system that includes hundreds of devices for access control, intrusion detection, and video monitoring. To round out the installation with every service APG has to offer, our Life Safety Group provided a networked Fire Alarm System.
Throughout construction, Senior Project Manager Ted Maczuga and Project Manager Jack Chonsky kept the site humming with material and priced over 200 changes in scope. The end result is an incredible Player Development Complex that will be a Dunedin jewel for decades to come. APG is grateful to have been selected by Gilbane Building Company as a key partner in getting this facility functional, secure, and ready for the team. Batter up!