The softball stadium on the University of Florida campus in Gainesville has a steeply sloping metal roof that frames an impressive gate to the stadium. Photos: Matt Horton, hortonphotoinc.com
The refurbished Katie Seashole Pressly Softball Stadium on the University of Florida campus in Gainesville has the latest amenities, but its design pays homage to the earlier days of school.
The steeply sloping metal roof of the facility in a typical orange-red finish is a clear reference to the buildings around the stadium and frames an impressive gateway to the friendly boundaries of the ballpark.
“The university is known for its Gothic college architecture and tall, orange-red gable roofs,” said Joe Walker, AIA, president of Walker Architects, the local company that designed the stadium. “This project ran with the roof as the defining element of the exterior, and the final design is a direct nod to the college’s Gothic style.”
The college’s Gothic roots can be seen most clearly in the stadium’s signature entrance. This two-story structure on brick pillars not only connects the stadium to the surrounding campus, but is also an independent statement for fans and Gator opponents.
“From the point of view of a fan, the geometry of the roof signals the entrance and frames the impressive – and for a visitor team, intimidating – first view of the field,” says Walker. “If you look at the height of the system from the playing field for a player, the central gable is a centerpiece that is positioned directly above the base plate.”
As part of the project, around 10,300 square meters of PAC-CLAD Tite-Loc Plus panels in a terracotta design were installed.
Although it is officially a “renovation” as the original field from 1996 has not been changed, most of the modernized facility has been rebuilt and includes a new changing room, a training room for the lounge and a press box. According to Walker, the $ 15 million project pays homage to head coach Tim Walton, who has expanded the team to a national presence since joining the team in 2006. Since 2008, the Gators have made the Women’s College World Series eight times and earned national titles twice.
Metal roofing panels were an obvious choice, according to Walker, to create a visual connection with the classic clay tiles that tower above many of the university’s older structures. “It was the best looking product for the project price and it fitted aesthetically well into this area of the campus,” he says. “It also has the advantage of being low-maintenance and, above all, excellent at keeping water away.”
For the project, the architect specified 10,300 square meters of PAC-CLAD Tite-Loc Plus from Petersen in terracotta. He says the choice of this particular profile was supported by advice from the company’s technical staff. “Petersen suggested using the Tite-Loc Plus product with strips because he knew it would be a better product for our project to minimize oil preservation and damage from potential impacts.”
Thorne Metal Systems of Jacksonville, Fla. Performed the rooftop installation which, according to the company’s office manager, Cody Thorne, presented some challenges. “It was a particularly tight spot – we could only work around the perimeter because they were working in the field,” he says, adding that the steep slope of the roof also required extra attention. “It was 10:12 am, so a little more caution and security was required.”
Architect: Walker Architects, Gainesville, Florida, http://walker-arch.com
Roofer: Thorne Metal Systems, Middleburg, Florida
Metal plates: PAC-CLAD Tite-Loc Plus in terracotta, Petersen, www.pac-clad.com