Wausau Windows Provide Winning Performance for University of Virginia's John Paul Jones Arena

Wausau Window and Wall Systems and East Coast Glass Systems Inc. of Richmond, Va., have supplied the 24,000-square-foot, exterior glass curtainwall for the University of Virginia's (UVa )new, state-of-the-art basketball arena.

The long-awaited, 365,916-square-foot building nearly doubles the size of the existing University Hall basketball arena. The new facility is expected to host more than 500,000 fans at as many as 95 events per year.

Since breaking ground in May 2003, the university has relied on a total of 33 construction companies - an average of 240 workers on-site per day to complete the project on time.

The public is invited to preview the $129.8 million John Paul Jones Arena on July 22.

According to a Wausau press release, the transparency of the curtainwall helps connect campus and community, while exemplifying the university's historic architectural character in scale, material and style. The architectural firm of Ellerbe Becket of Kansas City, Mo., designed the new sports complex together with VMDO Architects of Charlottesville, Va., and general contractor Barton Malow.

Made possible by a $35 million donation from philanthropist Paul Tudor Jones II who named the new facility for his father, the John Paul Jones Arena replaces the outdated, small, 8,392-seat University Hall, built in 1965. Constructed across the street from the existing facility, the new, 16,000-seat arena is the largest in the Commonwealth of Virginia and the fourth largest in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

The most notable feature is its main entrance façade, consisting of 26 white, pre-cast, concrete columns, comparable in shape and proportion to the existing Carl Smith Center, located across campus. Wausau engineered and fabricated the glass wall and entry behind these pillars and for the arena's other elevations. It provided East Coast Glass with 16,179-square-feet of its 8750 Series four-sided, structurally glazed system plus 8,439-square-feet of captured and vertically butt-glazed curtainwall and 22 project-out 3250Z Series zero sightline windows. All of the window and curtainwall systems use Viracon glass and are finished by Linetec in a durable, clear anodize.

With some curtainwall sections rising 30-feet-tall, East Coast Glass' field crew added steel wind bracing to ensure structural integrity for these exposed, large-span sections. The glazing contractor also provided much of the arena's interior needs including doors, handrails, storefront, smoke baffles, column covers, and the glass and metal surrounding the project's signature "bowl" design.

This distinguishing bowl shape lets spectators view the entire interior from three main seating levels and 20 luxury suites. The arena also offers two indoor practice courts, weight and training rooms, lounge, expanded locker rooms and coaches' offices, and 1,300 on-site parking spaces. An entry road connecting to Route 250/29 allows for easier access to the arena.

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