Technology, Innovative Strategies Key in Renovating Historic Sports Arena on Busy College Campus
empty and full basketball arena

By Jim Yechout, Sr. Superintendent at Mortenson for Construction Superintendent Magazine

Excerpt from Construction Superintendent Magazine:

Accommodating constraints on a jobsite is nothing new for superintendents. But the $110-million, 18-month renovation of Northwestern University’s Welsh-Ryan Arena, located in Evanston, Illinois, posed a few more challenges in one project than usual.

  • Compact jobsite, surrounded by other highly active buildings, walkways and sports fields
  • College activities, students, coaches and others that required access to all sides of the jobsite
  • Close proximity to a residential neighborhood
  • Fast-track construction timetable aimed at being fully operational for the 2018 basketball season
  • Historic renovation with intricate and complex selective demolition

Although building a new facility could potentially have been a more straightforward approach, Northwestern never considered a total teardown of Welsh-Ryan Arena because they wanted to pay homage to its architecture. Originally built in 1953 and updated in the 1980s, the arena is home to Northwestern’s NCAA Division 1 men’s and women’s basketball, women’s volleyball team and men’s wrestling teams.


Sports + Entertainment   NU Welsh-Ryan Arena Project