|Alumnus Overcash Back on Campus Working on Football Stadium|
After spending six years on campus earning two degrees, Civil Engineering alumnus Garrett Overcash is now adding his mark to the history of the UNC Charlotte campus as he leads the structural engineering efforts on the 49er new football stadium.
Overcash graduated with his bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering in 2005 and his master’s in Civil Engineering in 2007. He then went to work for consulting engineers Sutton-Kennerly and Associates. As a project engineer with Sutton-Kennerly, Overcash is one of the lead structural engineers on the UNC Charlotte football stadium.
“We have four people working on the structural components of the project,” Overcash said. “We started design work in 2010. Ground breaking was in April 2011. Completion will be in August 2012.”
The football stadium complex will include the 15,000-seat stadium, two practice fields and a number of auxiliary buildings. A field house will include coaches’ offices, meeting rooms, locker rooms, weight and training rooms, an academic center, a classroom and a hospitality deck. A press box with seating for the media and broadcast booths for television and radio will be on the west concourse. There will also be several concessions and bathroom buildings.
“With the playing field being below grade level, the stadium seating structure contains large sections of concrete and a lot of retaining walls,” Overcash said. “Other structural components are the steel frame work for the field house, press box, the masonry support buildings and two pedestrian bridges.”
The stadium will initially seat 15,000 fans, but has the capability of being expanded to hold 40,000.
“The requirement that the stadium be expandable has added an interesting component to the design work,” Overcash said. “We had to design column foundations and additional steel supports to hold future stadium risers.”
Having been on campus for six straight years as a student, Overcash said getting the chance to now work on a UNC Charlotte project has been special. “I spent so much time here that it’s good to now contribute back and leave my mark on something. It’s nice to know I’m helping build something that will a part of the university’s history.”
It’s also good to remember and put into action many of the engineering lessons he learned as a Lee College of Engineering student.
“I learned a lot of practical things from Dr. (Janos) Gergley, which I realize all the time when I’m on the job. He taught us to use common sense in designing things that work and structures that you can build practically. It’s amazing how useful that simple lesson has proven to be.”
The first football game in the new stadium will be Aug. 31, 2013, with the 49ers playing the Campbell University Camels. Overcash said he and the stadium will be ready.
“I am a football fan,” he said. “I’ve already got my 49er cornhole boards built and ready for tailgating.”