nation’s newest triple-A baseball franchise gets an impressive new $50 million field

Field of Dreams: New Ballpark Invigorates El Paso

The nation’s newest Triple-A baseball franchise. An impressive new $50 million field of dreams. Thanks to the work of contractors like Diversified Interiors, the project is a winner for both the team and the city of El Paso, Texas.

A project fit for the big leagues

Many years in the planning, the new Southwest University Park baseball complex replaced Cohen Stadium as the home of El Paso baseball. Situated on the former City Hall
site, the look was based on the El Paso Union Depot and incorporates architectural details found in other historic buildings in the region.

“The whole ballpark design is about creating that new image of downtown El Paso,” says architect David Bower.

The facility is used primarily as
 the home of the El Paso Chihuahuas, a Triple-A affiliate of the San Diego Padres playing in the Pacific Coast League. It has an official seating capacity of 9,500. There are 46,000 square feet of floor space on the concourse level, with 24 luxury suites, team office space, retail store, bar, restaurant and party areas for fans.

The paint team: Experienced players

Founded in 1982, Diversified Interiors, Inc. has been trusted with many high-profile painting and renovation projects. Recent clients include The Fountains at Farah, the El Paso International Airport and the University of Texas at El Paso.

Diversified Interiors was also tasked with nearly every aspect of the finish on the multibillion-dollar expansion at Fort Bliss, at one point working over 700 employees on the military base.

The ability to field this kind of manpower was one of the crucial elements in the success of the project. The company was responsible for painting all surfaces at the ballpark, as well as installing insulation, sheet rock, acoustical ceilings and wall panels, and the interior and exterior metal stud framing.

The challenges: Access, time and scope

“Once the initial excitement of being awarded the most publicly anticipated, highest visibility projects in El Paso in some time, the focus quickly shifted to the development of the strategies and processes that would be required to execute the work,” says company president Ed Anderson.

A tight deadline and the sheer magnitude and scope of the job were just some of the challenges they faced.

“Access to the work and containment during the structural steel painting process proved to be the greatest challenges for us on this project,” Anderson says. “We employed a broad range of equipment from simple scissor lifts and small articulating boom lifts to large all-terrain scissor lifts and a 125-foot telescoping boom.” Wall tower and large platform scaffolding were erected for additional access and containment.

“We also coordinated the painting of several large structural elements as sub-assemblies on the ground before they erected into final position,” Anderson says. “Otherwise, it would have been problematic to access these elements by conventional means within the time frame that was available to complete the work.”

Winners: A lineup of all-star coatings

SprayLastic Exterior Semi-Gloss Waterborne Dryfall was one of the all-stars of the coating process.

“We used it all over the ballpark, especially on exposed decks in concourse areas,” Anderson says. “It’s a latex dryfall that sprays out really well with a minimum of overspray.
It bonds extremely well to multiple surfaces and gives a smooth, attractive finish.

“Using SprayLastic alleviates the hassles of using thinners and solvents when painting steel,” he adds. “We use SprayLastic a lot and have always had great success with it.”

ProMar® 200 Zero VOC Interior Latex paint and primer were used on gypsum, concrete and masonry sur- faces throughout the facility.

“The ProMar 200 Zero VOC line has become our go-to line for interior painting,” Anderson says. “It allows us to work in areas with other contractors, which was very important given the tight schedule on this project. It covered well, and was easy to work with. Touch-ups were good and cleanup was easy.”

When more specialized coatings were required, Sherwin-Williams products like Macropoxy 646 Fast Cure Epoxy, Pro Industrial Acrylic Coating and Tile-Clad High Solids Epoxy did an outstanding job.

“We used a lot of Macropoxy 646 with Acrolon 218 HS on the structural steel,” Anderson says.

“We were pleasantly surprised at how well they sprayed and how well the Acrolon touched up with the right techniques and equipment. The structural steel is a big architectural element of the ballpark, and the Macropoxy/Acrolon system really shows it off.”

Team effort: Daily deliveries seal the victory

There was minimal storage space on the job site, so prompt paint delivery was key to meeting the deadline. Most material and equipment deliveries were made in the early mornings and late evenings to avoid congestion with the project’s workforce.

“The ability to have Sherwin-Williams warehouse material and deliver to us almost on a daily basis was critical to our eventual success in turning over this portion of the job on time,” Anderson says.

This article was originally published in the Winter 2014 issue of PPC magazine. Story by Mike Starling, PPC Editor. Read about other successful painting projects in the PPC digital archive.