The Arcadia All-Florida Championship Rodeo is the cornerstone of cowboy cultural heritage in Southwest Florida, with the annual “Grandaddy of ‘Em All” Rodeo as an iconic event for the past 80 years for the community. Beginning in 2015 the Rodeo contracted Weiler Engineering to assist with the planning, design, and construction of a new massive state-of-the-art arena facility to replace the original arena built in 1959.
As the Engineer of Record for the new site, WEC provided Project Management throughout the design and construction phases working closely with the Rodeo Board of Directors and Executive Director, Planning Consultant, and Construction Contractor and the City, County, and State government agencies. WEC was responsible for successfully navigating the complexity of the jurisdictions with the City of Arcadia providing sewer and water services, while DeSoto County’s Development Review Committee provided site plan review and approvals, DeSoto County Building Department for building permits, and Fire Marshall approvals for fire & life safety issues. With the high profile, history, and cultural significance of the new facility, it was also important to project success that WEC’s Project Manager maintain communications and regular coordination with the Rodeo Board of Directors, Executive Director, and their Development Consultant.
The site, stormwater, and utilities design for this facility was particularly challenging. The property is immediately adjacent to DeSoto County’s Turner Agri-Civic Center, and in order to leverage synergies between the privately held Rodeo and the County’s Turner Facility several critical Rodeo elements were negotiated and designed for compatibility to meet the needs of both facilities, to include stormwater management, parking, utilities, and emergency access/ egress. Another challenge was ensuring the design provided for adequate elevation of the building site nearly 2.0 feet in order to avoid flooding, which was an issue at the adjacent lower elevation Turner Center facility.
The resulting Mosaic Arena is the largest event venue in Charlotte or DeSoto County’s, with the main arena structure consisting of 107,024 sq. ft. and a seating capacity of 7,796 on the 15.0 acre site. Design and permitting was completed in 2016, and with construction in 2017 (to be completed in February, 2018). In addition to Project Management related to all aspects of civil engineering, WEC was also responsible for the CEI during construction. With construction cost estimated at over $12,000,000, a number of value engineering proposals were considered and implemented during the course of the final design and permitting to accommodate the Rodeo’s budget, as well as field expedient engineering and revisions during construction. Ultimately the new Rodeo Facility will be completed on schedule to open for the March 8-11, 2018 Arcadia All-Florida Championship Rodeo event at a total cost of construction of $8,000,000, or approximately 33% below the estimate.