Location

Manchester, New Hampshire

Completion Date

2001

Tonnage

2650

General Contractor

Gilbane

Architect

Lavallee / Brensinger

SNHU Arena (Manchester Civic Arena)

The 230,000-square-foot facility is the largest construction project ever undertaken by the city of Manchester. It is also the largest event arena in New Hampshire.

The exterior colors of the arena were intended to represent the natural beauty of nearby Amoskeag Falls. The interior color scheme is off-white and the seating will be a salmon, almost orange color, for the salmon in the river.

 

A Big Move for a Small City

Bringing the dream of a new arena to reality in Manchester, NH was the result of an intense amount of political will and civic pride. For a city with a population of less than 250,000, the $70 million project was extremely ambitious, and central to a plan to revitalize the downtown area. As a return on this investment, the community demanded that the center be extremely versatile - hosting everything from hockey games to tradeshows and circuses.

 

Supermétal dealt with several issues during construction of the downtown civic center. Because patrons actually enter the building at mid-level, nearly 100,000 yards of materials had to be excavated in order to lower the arena floor below street level. With excavation to be completed first, the majority of the structural erection had to be performed during the sometimes-harsh conditions of the New England winter months..

Huge beams and 150-foot long wide-span trusses were required for the arena's roof. In addition to holding up its own weight, the roof also had to support tons of New Hampshire snow, dozens of heavy overhead lights and a massive center-ice scoreboard.

 

The center features jagged angles, sweeping curves, and an elliptical layout. This unique design of the building greatly increased the complexity of fabrication, requiring beams of all sizes to be cut at radical angles, and with extreme precision.

From August 2000 to March 2001 a steady stream of trucks moved 2635 tons of steel along the often snowy route between Quebec City and Manchester NH. At the site, our project managers consulted with construction management firm, Gilbane Inc. to ensure the finished pieces were received and installed properly. The building was erected in four sections with the roof added at the end of the process. The last beam was installed on April 3rd - just as the last of the winter snowstorms were coming to an end, and right on schedule.