Abilene ISD Shotwell Stadium Pressbox Addition

Abilene, Texas


  • Education


  • mechanical / plumbing engineering
  • electrical engineering
  • structural engineering


  • 11,415 SF

BHB provided structural and MEP engineering for the new, 11,415-square-foot press box for Abilene ISD’s Shotwell Stadium. This addition replaced the original press box that was built in 1960 and includes a film deck on the third floor, two VIP suites, an area for scouts, and storage space. An elevator and HVAC were added for compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

This project utilized a mixture of rooftop units (RTUs) and ductless mini splits for the conditioned spaces. A wet pipe fire protection system was provided for the conditioned spaces and a dry pipe system was provided for the unconditioned spaces. Due to poor city water pressure, a fire pump and a domestic water booster pump were provided to have the correct water pressure required at the plumbing fixtures on the third floor.

BHB’s mechanical engineers wanted to avoid routing ductwork between conditioned and non-conditioned spaces, which made it challenging to condition the occupied spaces on levels one and two. This problem was solved by conditioning the spaces on those levels with ductless mini splits that utilized ceiling cassettes for the indoor unit. This also allowed for these spaces to have their own thermostat and individual control for better occupant satisfaction.

The existing stadium lighting remained in tact so the electrical design incorporated the back-feeding and relocation of the existing stadium controls into the new electrical room on the ground level of the press box.

In order to deliver unobstructed views of the field, BHB’s structural engineers moved existing columns back and had the beams cantilevered out, while making sure the structure could support sloped glass windows across the entire press/coach’s level. Building the new press box into an existing stadium while maintaining a new 2-inch control joint was a challenge that required extra detailing, but BHB’s engineers were ultimately able to complete the design in time for construction to be complete before the start of the new football season.

Key People

  • Ian Bost, PE, LEED AP

  • Ronald Ishmael, PE, LEED AP