Technology, Innovative Strategies Key in Renovating Historic Sports Arena on Busy College Campus

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