Midway ISD chose Pearson Construction to build a new 97,000 SF athletic center that includes a full-size football field that converts to a multiple-use facility for teams.

Midway Student Activity Center – Waco, Texas

Project Description

This 97,204 square foot multi-purpose Activity Center provides Midway ISD with an indoor facility for football, baseball, soccer, band, cheerleading, dance, golf, weightlifting, and many other sports and non-sports related activities. It houses a full-size 100-yard football field with end zones, much larger than most comparable facilities. It has several motorized drop-down nets throughout the area to sanction off different activities so that more than one team can practice at the same time, and it has a cutting edge sound system that would rival the most massive venues.

The main area is kept comfortable with rolling steel doors and high-powered exhaust fans to create a breeze during the warm days and heated with strategically located gas-fired unit heaters for wintertime use. Wall skylights and energy-efficient LED lighting on a sophisticated energy management system light the facility. The floor of the central area is synthetic turf on a crown in the middle that replicates the effect of an actual stadium. This building houses state of the art, 11,000 square foot air-conditioned weight rooms used by girls and boys athletics. The rooms feature fully adjustable weight equipment, a unique padded rubber floor, offices, equipment storage, and restroom facilities.

National high school and college coaches that have visited the facility consider it an exemplary structure.

The building is a pre-engineered metal provided by Nucor Building Systems with “R” panel metal walls/CMU and a standing seam roof system. The foundation is a slab on a graded concrete foundation with drilled piers.

The height of the central portion of the facility is 65 feet. The height created a challenge requiring work to be completed from lifts. There were as many as 20 boom lifts working in the area at one time.

Safety is always a significant concern with a building of this magnitude. Pearson used several techniques to ensure that safety took precedence during construction. Pearson chose the Silvercote Energy Saver insulation system for the roof, providing a reinforced liner for leading-edge fall protection and security for crews during installation. During construction, there were no incidents on the project, as reported by the AGC safety director.

Working on the football field in a building meant having to build without a concrete slab. Pearson poured concrete grade beams and footings for the steel structure which created a giant mud hole when it rained. The hole delayed the project more than usual since the area inside was slow to dry. The conditions caused safety concerns and delays while working in one of the wettest years on record for Central Texas. The mud made for unsafe and inefficient work conditions, causing repeated re-grading to aid in drying and creating a level work surface.

The building was designed with exterior structural members and outer skin inside to provide a smooth surface on the interior as needed for athletics. The design is not typical; however, it created a straight line interior with an unusual offsetting exterior. This design doubles the surface area of the exterior skin and quadruples the trim work, causing additional construction time.

It took roughly ten months to finish the project on time. Students returning from their 2014-2015 winter holiday found a new state of the art, multi-purpose facility. Teams can now simultaneously practice various activities at any time of the year. Midway athletic programs seek greatness on and off the field, and all student competitors can now successfully prepare in any season.

The project finished on time and under budget. The $6.4 million project had a significant contingency allowance, but the team of Pearson Construction was able to return 80 percent of the amount to the school district.

In the end, the Midway ISD Athletic Center is nothing short of a masterpiece. The large water-jetted “M” cutout emblazons the tile floor in the entry, marking the threshold between mediocrity and distinction.

Fast Facts

  • Delivery Method: Hard Bid
  • Size: 97,204 SF
  • Completed January 2016
  • Project Type: New Construction


Client Contact:
Dr. George Kazanas
Midway ISD

Architect Contact:
David Wright, A.I.A.