McKale Memorial Center on the University of Arizona campus in Tucson is the home of the university’s storied Wildcat basketball program. One of the facility’s most striking features is its large copper cap, but how it got up there was a little…unusual.
The entire project featured unusual construction techniques to save money and time, but the roof was unique in that it was constructed on the ground, then raised into position. First, 900 tons of roof trusses, bracing, catwalks, lights and mechanical ductwork were erected. This assembly was jacked up 28 feet by a hydraulic jack system supported by four towers, where part of the truss extensions were installed and welded. Completing these tasks concurrently was a significant time saver as well as cost effective. Once the two elements were combined, the roof was then raised another 30 feet to its final position 58 feet above the arena floor. The truss extensions were then completed, the copper fascia placed, and the roof insulation and covering were installed.
University of Arizona
McKale Memorial Center