Providing a New Space for Students to Flourish

January 25, 2024 – Lakewood, COEncore Electric partnered with General Contractor Art C. Klein Construction and other trade partners to bring to life the new three-story Fountain-Fort Carson High School Trojan Arena. The project spans over 82,000 square feet and rose from an open field and a School District’s vision.

Fountain-Fort Carson High School

Eighteen Encore Electric craftspeople provided power, lighting, fire alarm, and raceway for multiple special systems throughout the arena.

Four full-size basketball courts allow more high-profile events to be hosted in southern El Paso County. The massive Jumbotron is suspended from the rafters to track the action from all courts and the second level includes seating surrounded by a two-lane running track, an athletic training room, a weight room, and a coach’s meeting room. The upper level showcases past Fountain-Fort Carson High School Trojans in three virtual Halls of Fame.

“Now the arena is not just a venue for high school basketball games, but it provides Fountain-Fort Carson with a place to host multiple events,” said Charlie Coe, Encore Electric project manager. “With a seating capacity of over 5,000 people, the community can bring basketball and wrestling tournaments as well as concerts to the arena, which was not an option previously.”

The benefits of the new facility will further improve the school’s already top-ranked athletics and the more than 1,900 students in grades 9-12 who are part of this growing community. In December 2023, the community was able to witness their vision come to life as they hosted their first-ever Trojan Classic Basketball Tournament in their brand-new arena. “These one-of-a-kind projects come with unique challenges and we expected those. We count on quality partners to maneuver through complicated issues and Encore proved their ability to provide solutions”, commented Tom Clemans, Senior Project Manager for Art C. Klein Construction.

There were many challenges along the way. Some can be attributed to the Concrete Masonry Unit (CMU) block design. The CMU build was a painstaking process in itself and required multiple trades to work closely together to ensure electrical components didn’t get lost along the way. This project added to that challenge because the designer wanted to hide conduit and other electrical work. To accommodate the design, there were many orchestrated revisions once teams realized how complicated it was to move things like hand dryers in the locker room or lights in the hallways after they had been installed.

“This project offered a lot of learning opportunities and new experiences for our craftspeople”, said Stuart Johnson, Encore Electric project superintendent. “There were a lot of challenges, the team did a great job coming up with solutions not only making the customer happy, but the space feels state-of-the-art, the functionality is spot on, and the aesthetics were met because the team overcame challenges with creative, smart ideas. The focus is not on the lighting and all the conduit work but on the multiple courts, the kids, and their families who will enjoy this space for a long time to come.”

To meet the electrical needs of the arena and satisfy the customer’s vision for the space, a large amount of conduit was required. The design team was worried the silver conduit would detract from the overall aesthetic, so the Encore Electric team worked closely with the designers to ensure the conduit was “hidden” in the rafters. To achieve this, all the work in the arena was done piece by piece to guarantee a proper fit and it was painted white to maintain a consistent aesthetic.

“When we build a project, we care about the people who must come in after us. Of course, our goal is to provide service, additions, and changes for the lifecycle of a building, but it may not always happen so it’s important to us that our work is easy to navigate and doesn’t leave surprises for facilities teams”, said Johnson. “It’s just who Encore is and I’m so proud of the work we did here.”

“I’m incredibly proud of our entire team and the quality and dedication they brought to the project and for meeting both the big and small challenges with a great attitude”, said Andy Sizemore, Encore Electric director of Southern Colorado. “It was a very long and ever-changing schedule and almost entirely structural CMU construction and throughout it all, our team stayed focused and positive. In the end, after nearly three years, they turned over to the school and its students and families an amazing facility that they can be proud of for years to come.”

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