The construction in Kenan Stadium that started earlier this year is officially complete. The final layer of sod was placed Wednesday, and the grass will be ready for graduation.
Mike Bunting, assistant director for facility planning and management for the athletics department, supervised the construction and confirmed its completion.
“I’m worried this is going to be boring, but it honestly couldn’t have gone any better,” Bunting said. “We’re ahead of schedule, and all we have to do is clean up at this point.”
The construction was completed by Carolina Civilworks Inc., based in Raleigh, in tandem with Carolina Green Corp. based in Indian Trail. Carolina Civilworks focused on replacing the storm pipe that runs below the field, and Carolina Green Corp. rebuilt the field.
The construction team began its work on the storm pipe under the field, which started to fail late last semester because it was too small. This project was a University-funded project and was initiated by University officials, not the athletic department.
“It’s nothing new,” he said. “It’s the same field. There aren’t any new bells or whistles.”
Bunting said the construction team was aware the project needed to be completed on time, but he said he hadn’t considered exactly what would happen if it hadn’t gone so well.
“Failure isn’t something any of us wanted to think about,” Bunting said. “We knew this would affect commencement, but I hadn’t thought about how it would actually affect the seniors.”
Bunting said the teams had milestones to keep up with so they would be able to stay on track with the project, and they finished construction earlier than originally planned.
“The weather did halt us a bit, but the contractors worked a few weekend days and several long nights to catch up,” Bunting said. “We’re really lucky to have had such a dedicated team working on this. They really showed up.”
The construction didn’t worry senior Ashley Bowers, an exercise and sport science major from Charlotte.
“I have faith in UNC that they will come through for us, whether it’s at Kenan or in another venue,” Bowers said.
Jake Bridgers, a senior Biology major from Goldsboro, agreed that the location isn’t the most important part of graduation day.
“I don’t think it really matters where I graduate as long as I get my diploma,” Bridgers said.
Bunting said he is excited to have the work done in time for commencement.
“This would have been an inconvenience for the school, but career ruining for me,” Bunting said.