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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Celebrating changes: New boxes in south turn

Friday, April 27, 2012

(Photo)
A worker for Lee Adcock Construction swings a sledgehammer at a concrete block wall as part of a renovation project on several rows of boxes at the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration grounds.
(T-G Photo by John I. Carney)
The Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration is renovating the upper tier of boxes on the south end of the outdoor arena, in a $500,000 project which CEO Doyle Meadows says will enhance safety and the fan experience.

(Photo)
Concrete is tossed into a disposal bin.
(T-G Photo by John I. Carney)
The lower level of boxes, at ringside, are built on concrete slabs and are in good shape, as are the general admission grandstands at the top of the south end. The renovation project focuses on the upper rows of boxes -- I, J, K and L -- on the south end.

Massive upgrade

The concrete beneath those boxes, including some long-closed restrooms, is being demolished to expose the steel superstructure beneath. The steel will be sandblasted and repainted. New concrete will be poured, and new railings will be put up between the boxes. A new staircase will be built at the southwest corner, allowing improved access to the area.

(Photo)
The Shelbyville Rotary Club pizza booth, left, and the Shelbyville Central High School Band Boosters booth, foreground, will be affected by the renovations, but Celebration officials say both will end up with improved facilities as a result.
(T-G Photo by John I. Carney)
"Although the actual structure was sound," said Meadows, "we wanted to make sure the safety of our fans was of the utmost importance."

Meadows said the Celebration was pleased to hire a local firm, Lee Adcock Construction, to do the work, which began earlier this month and which is expected to be complete by late July, in plenty of time for this year's Celebration.

Concession changes

The work will affect the two concession stands located beneath those boxes at the southwest corner of the arena: Shelbyville Rotary Club's pizza booth and the Shelbyville Central High School Band Boosters. Meadows said both of those organizations were "wonderfully receptive," even though it's involved cost and trouble for them. He said both will end up with improved facilities as a result of the work.

Meadows noted that this has been a time of challenge for the industry which the Celebration represents, but he said the organization felt it was important to go forward with the project.

(Photo)
Celebration CEO Doyle Meadows, right, chats with a construction worker as demolition waste is loaded up from renovations to boxes at the south end of the arena.
(T-G Photo by John I. Carney) [Order this photo]
"The whole bottom line is to improve the conditions for our fans," he said. "We're looking for a successful 2012 Celebration."