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Kyle Field implosion expected to be an emotional experience

The+west+side+of+Kyle+Field+will+be+imploded+at+8+a.m.+on+Sunday.

The west side of Kyle Field will be imploded at 8 a.m. on Sunday.

Construction and demolition teams continue to prepare for Sunday’s implosion of the west side of Kyle Field.
Phase II of the Kyle Field project will begin Sunday at 8 a.m. as the west side of Kyle Field falls. Working with Manhattan-Vaughn, the construction company in charge of the project, is Lindamood Demolition and Controlled Demolition, Inc.
In a press conference Wednesday, Phillip Ray, chief business development officer for the Texas A&M System, said the Kyle Field renovation project is still within budget and is actually functioning slightly ahead of schedule.
“We don’t anticipate being behind a day on this Phase II,” Ray said. “An example is that in our original plan, this implosion was scheduled on Dec. 28, so we’ve already been able to gain a week. That may not sound like much, but when it’s get to next season in September, it’s a lot.”
Ray said there have been steps throughout the renovation process that have been emotional.
“Removing the first deck on the west side has been emotional,” Ray said. “Some of that was originally constructed in the 20s, so a lot of memories on that side, on that deck.”
Mark Loizeaux, president of Controlled Demolition, Inc., said the 17-second demolition will begin with the furthest south elevator shaft moving toward Welborn Rd., followed by the other two.
“The stadium is going to start to collapse in the center, that construction joint in the middle, and it’s going to work back out to the ramps and it’s going to roll over,” Loizeaux said. “It’s not going to flatten out totally. The goal is to bring it down where Lindamood can reach it with the very large equipment they have here.”
Greg McClure, Manhattan-Vaughn project director, said the crews are about 95 percent complete in loading charges, which will be wired over the next few days. After the implosion, work will begin to remove the debris.
“As we move forward, foundations will begin immediately once we get some of this stuff moved out of the way,” McClure said. “We will begin drilling tiers toward the end of the month, and foundation we’ll work on through the month of January, with steel set to start erecting in early February.”
Loizeaux said the process will include initiation and main charges. The initiation charges are to address concerns about bats and pigeons that may still be in the venue.
“The early charges that initiative the explosion are going to be scare charges to get the bats and remaining pigeons roosting here in flight so they’ll be fine during the demolition as the structure comes down,” Loizeaux said. “You’ll hear a lot of very sharp reports, and nothing is going to happen, but then you’ll hear a low report, a very deep boom, and that’s when the structure will come down.”
Implosions are different from explosions, Loizeaux said, involving minimal amounts of explosives.
“Really what we’re doing is inclining the structure to the west, and gravity takes over,” Loizeaux said. “The use of explosives here is very catalytic — it’s a lot like a chemical reaction. A little bit of explosives releases a lot of stored energy in the structure and lets gravity do the job.”
After the implosion, Jake Lindamood from Lindamood Demolition said teams will begin work immediately to remove the 3,000 loads, or 75,000 tons, of concrete, a project that is expected to take around 30 days.
Ray said the university has worked with third party companies to ensure that the bats are safely out of facility before Sunday, using devices such as netting and screechers to deter bats and other animals from resting on the west side. He said the university received the formal report earlier this week that all the bats were cleared from the venue.
To ensure safety around the area, portions of Welborn Rd., Joe Routt Blvd., Stallings Blvd and Houston St. will be closed at 5 a.m. Sunday and are scheduled to reopen at noon. Loizeaux said the event will be televised, but if people do want to come watch the event, he requested they cooperate with campus police, who will be monitoring the area.
The area has also been previewed in terms of protection of surrounding facilities, and seismographs will be set up to measure noise, vibrations and air over pressure. Loizeaux said they are expected to be well within safety limits.
Ray said the countdown will be given by Chancellor John Sharp, and the team that pushes the button is expected to include Board of Regents Chairman Phil Adams, Regent Cliff Thomas, Interim President Mark Hussey and 12th Man Foundation Chairman Sam Torn.
Loizeaux said the event should be exciting and memorable for all that attend.
“When an iconic sports venue like this comes down, it’s part of your community,” Loizeaux said. “It’s a part of Texas community, it’s a part of the Aggie community and it’s part of your culture.”
Photos by Jennifer Reiley.

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  • The west side of Kyle Field will be imploded at 8 a.m. on Sunday.

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