Proj Overview

Project Overview

When the University of Kentucky set out to renovate its iconic Kroger Field, the owners knew they wanted to reinvent every corner of the space to make it feel more authentically Kentucky. It was a big challenge for a project that had to be completed while the stadium was open for football season, according to Greg Hosfield, architect and project manager for Ross Tarrant Architects in Lexington, Ky. That was one of the many reasons the team chose precast concrete for the exterior.

“The use of precast helped in allowing the exterior façade to be constructed quickly with minimal disruption to the game day experience,” he says. It also provided a completely new aesthetic to the façade of the stadium, while keeping the budget and schedule in line.

Precast Solution

The façade was cast in 87 massive 8-in.-thick architectural precast concrete panels. “The large size allowed us to reduce the number of pieces and bearing points, which lowered the overall cost of the project,” says Kevin Locke, senior principal with Ross Tarrant. To make the pieces feel smaller and more detailed, the larger panels were divided into smaller sections with reveals and two finishes: a heavy and light sandblast in a random pattern to emphasize the smaller panel design. “With the two finishes, one mix was able to be utilized, which gave two distinct looks while saving cost,” he says.

To ensure the variations in the finish were consistent, the design team worked closely with Gate Precast to alter the finish of small sections of each panel to help blend the entire façade together. “This required a great deal of design collaboration, as well as ongoing coordination and adjustments during manufacturing and construction to achieve the intended final product,” Hosfield says. “The process was challenging and required an innovative approach, but it yielded great results.”

The massive weight of the panels and assembly crane also caused concerns regarding their impact on the drainage system. To mitigate that risk, the project team built a dedicated path and crane pad with timbers to prevent any damage. The project remained on schedule, and caused minimal disruption, even as the 2015 football season began before construction was complete.

The result is an attractive, durable, high-performance design that more than met the expectations of the university and Wildcat Football fans. “The goals for this project included transforming the appearance of the existing stadium and enhancing the fan and athlete experience,” Locke says. “The use of precast was instrumental in achieving these goals.”


2018 PCI Design AwardsBest Stadium and Arena Building
Project Team


University of Kentucky, Lexington, Ky.

Precast Concrete Producer & Precast Concrete Specialty Engineer

Gate Precast Company, Winchester, Ky.


Ross Tarrant Architects, Lexington, Ky.

Sports Designer

HNTB Architecture Inc., Kansas City, Mo.

Engineer of Record

Brown and Kubican, Lexington, Ky.

General Contractor

Skanska/Congleton-Hacker, Lexington, Ky.

Key Project Attributes

  • Curved precast concrete façade provide a new aesthetic to an old stadium.
  • Envelope performance, recycled content, and regional production contribute to LEED silver certification.
  • A dedicated crane pad made from timbers was built to protect the field and drainage system during construction.

Project/Precast Scope

  • Design a comprehensive renovation and addition to a university football stadium.
  • The project required a 191,545 ft² addition and 292,664 ft² of renovations.
  • Precast concrete elements include 287 architectural precast concrete panels and 210 structural pieces.
  • Project cost: $114.5 million
  • Project size: 191,545 ft² (addition); 292,664 ft² (renovation)