Churchill Downs

Structural steel fabrication and erection for Encompass. A race to the finish at Churchill Downs. Padgett In The Winner’s Circle!

In early October 2013, Encompass, the Designer & Construction Manager for Churchill Downs’ 2013-14 expansion projects selected Padgett, Incorporated’s bid to fabricate & erect the steel for its new Grandstand Terrace and Roof Top Garden. Deadlines for each phase were very tight. Winter was fast approaching and so was the opening of the spring racing season just prior to the 140th running of The Kentucky Derby. Padgett’s team of draftsman designed the shop plans for 660 tons of customized steel using Design Data SDA/2 Version 7.

The steel was procured, then transported to the Padgett facility in New Albany, Indiana where it would be custom-fabricated by a team of the region’s best and most experienced Certified Steel Fabricators.

During the extreme cold, snow and ice the Padgett crew erected the steel, bolted up and impacted the connections, then placed all the steel decking for the concrete floors. The seasoned Padgett field personnel braved the elements to maintain the steel erection schedule because they knew that the on-time completion of each phase was essential to keep the other trades, who were waiting, on schedule to complete their deadlines.

“Larry Clark was our General Foreman for the Steel Erection of the entire project, and he did a Great Job coordinating manpower and equipment to bring this project in safe and on time,” said Laura Bierman, Field Operations Manager and Secretary Treasurer of Padgett, Inc.

The design drawings specified over 60 places where a full penetration weld was required. Padgett crews consisting of Certified Welders from Ironworkers Local 70 performed those welds and all welds were tested and approved by a testing agency and then recorded.

“It takes a fleet of cranes to perform steel erection of this magnitude. Padgett has both the equipment and the personnel to meet the needs. With some of the best pick up artists in the business, Padgett’s Crane Operators from Local 181 make the toughest jobs look simple. The Link-Belt RTC 8075 a 75 ton rough terrain crane and a Link-Belt RTC 8050 II a 50 ton rough terrain crane performed the majority of the work,” said Don Fell, Project Manager.

“Don Fell did a great job of working closely with the project management team from Encompass to keep the job moving forward despite constant design changes and unfavorable weather. We knew what Encompass expected of us and Encompass knew what we expected of them, both companies delivered without issue.” R. James Padgett Vice-President.

“With the issues with the canopies, Padgett was an integral part of the success. Their willingness to help and put forth a great effort into something they would not normally do, speaks volumes. Throughout Padgett’s scope of the project, dealing with adverse conditions, incomplete drawings, and design issues, they continued to progress.” Padgett’s original scope of work was the fabrication, and the installation, of all the structural steel, and deck. Would I use them in the future? Yes, I would take them to every project if I could! ”Darryl Bright, Construction Manager, Encompass Develop, Design & Construct.

“Padgett went above and beyond to help. They were willing to step in and do whatever we asked. Padgett installed the awnings that another installer could not do”. They helped on the speaker bolts repair, they helped with several misc. steel support and other steel applications.” Wendell Bowen Vice President Corporate Safety Encompass Develop, Design & Construct.

Once Padgett completed their contracted work, there was more for Padgett to accomplish. The Roof Top Garden has special amenities such as very large Aluminum canopies that provide much-needed shade during hot days at the track. Padgett was asked by Encompass to haul and erect the many canopies that blanket the garden. Encompass put the project in Padgett’s hands to meet a deadline of April 26th 2014. Right on time, that evening the Rooftop Garden was opened for the public.

Everyone at Padgett, Inc. took a moment to enjoy the satisfaction that comes from pleasing your customer with a job well-done.

Mint Juleps all around!

Equipment List

  • Link-Belt RTC 8075, 75-Ton Rough Terrain Crane
  • Link-Belt TRC 8050, 50-Ton Rough Terrain Crane