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  • Holaday Athletic Center opens to rave reviews

    Fri, July 22, 2011 by admin with 3 comments

    The funny thing about the Holaday Athletic Center is that no matter how cold or windy it is outside for football practice, Air Force coach Troy Calhoun hates practicing inside. He likes the players to get used to the elements.

    So even if the glistening new practice facility won’t be used every day by the football team (except when there’s lightning in the area – Calhoun might not enjoy sub-freezing temperatures but he doesn’t mess around with lightning), it will be a great benefit to the academy.

    “It’s superb,” said Calhoun, who gave $100,000 to the project. “Probably beyond what the ultimate dreams were.”

    There are many unique things about the HAC, but one of the most interesting is it was made to be environmentally friendly. There are no air ducts, because heat and air conditioning isn’t pumped in. The building is cooled by large vents and low-energy fans. The design of the building traps heat, and lights aren’t needed most of the time because of the massive windows that bring in natural light. Those touches helped save on the cost of the building.

    “It does some things that no building here has ever done before,” Ken Wiseman, the building’s architect, said.

    Other small details were addressed. Sun screens on the west windows will make sure the sun doesn’t blind those inside as it sets over the mountains. The goalposts were hung from the roof, six-and-a-half stories high, so there wouldn’t be a post sticking out of the ground, disrupting other sports. Here’s my story on Gazette.com about today’s ceremony. And here’s a list of other fun facts about the HAC, which were provided by the academy:

    Construction Facts and Figures

    The Holaday Athletic Center (HAC) is a privately funded project which is being built for and gifted to the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) by The USAFA Endowment.  The ground-breaking ceremony for the HAC which is an 87,000 SF indoor artificial turf field was held on October 1, 2010.  Construction began immediately after with the mobilization of GEJCC Earthworks who excavated and redistributed nearly 80,000 CY of dirt on the nearly-balanced site in only 21 days.  Following earthwork, 45 drilled piers ranging in diameter from 18” to 72” and from 20 to 65 feet deep were placed to support the 80 foot columns and 224 foot trusses that span the width of the field.  GEJCC had to design a pier embed suspension system to hold the 7000lb pier embeds true to line and grade while the caisson concrete was placed.  GEJCC self performed the caissons, grade beams and pier caps, and built 1500 LF of grade beams in less than 4 weeks.  In order to speed up steel erection and utilize the limited space on site, the trusses were brought out in 4 pieces, assembled on the ground, and lifted in to place using two 200-ton Liebherr crawler cranes.  Each tandem lift was engineered and closely monitored to ensure proper rigging, radiuses and wind limitations were being followed.  Pre-lift meetings were held and the lift foreman assigned responsibilities to the crew members just before every lift.  This method was an alternate to using shoring towers which saved approximately 24 days on the overall schedule.
    To date, despite multiple lost days due to extremely cold weather and wind speeds upwards of 85 mph, steel and precast are substantially complete and exterior finishes have started.  The exterior finishes are largely comprised of precast panels, metal panels, polycarbonate panels and curtain wall glazing.  The west face of the building, which faces the existing athletic fields, will also receive large vertical sun shades which will help to reduce the afternoon glare.  On the interior, artificial field turf runs from wall to wall in every direction.  Football, Soccer and Lacrosse field markings will be included and conform to NCAA standards.

    A couple other interesting facts are:
    - The lowest elevation from the field turf to the bottom of the roof trusses is 65’
    - There are 339 fire sprinkler heads in the building
    - The building is ventilated using 4 large exhaust fans at truss level opposite of 2 large louvers at ground level
    - There is no heat or air conditioning in the building (with the exception of the restrooms) in order to mimic game like conditions in the heat of summer and cold of winter
    - There are 168 metal halide lights that light the practice field
    - All storm water runs into the site detention pond to reduce the flow of water leaving the site and reduce the amount of sediment in the discharge
    - All glazing and polycarbonate panels are covered with white protection netting which is hardly visible to the eye from a distance
    - Protection pads are installed at every corner on ground level in order to protect players and equipment from harm
    - The 111’ x 47’ banner hanging on the east wall was manufactured in 1 piece in Denver
    - There are 2 Big Ass Fans (company name) hanging from the roof deck that are 24’ diameter each

  • Hockey: AIC, Canisius games announced

    Fri, July 22, 2011 by admin with 16 comments

    American International College and Canisius announced their 2011-12 schedules recently so here’s the latest updated Air Force hockey slate I could piece together.

    Air Force, Bentley, Holy Cross and Mercyhurst are yet to announce.

    The Falcons have an unusual Sunday-Monday series at Canisius on Jan. 29-30. The Golden Griffins visit for a single game at Cadet Ice Arena on Oct. 29.

    Here are the games that have been confirmed with all times Mountain:

    Oct. 7, Air Force at North Dakota (Icebreaker Tournament)

    Oct. 8, Air Force vs. Boston College or Michigan State in Grand Forks, N.D. (Icebreaker Tournament)

    Oct. 14, Niagara at Air Force, 7:07 p.m.

    Oct. 16, Robert Morris at Air Force, 6:05 p.m.

    Oct. 29 Canisius at Air Force, 7:05 p.m.

    Nov. 4, Sacred Heart at Air Force, 7:05 p.m.

    Nov. 5, Sacred Heart at Air Force, 7:05 p.m.

    Nov. 11, Air Force at RIT, 5:05 p.m.

    Nov. 25, UConn at Air Force, 7:05 p.m.

    Nov. 26, UConn at Air Force, 7:05 p.m.

    Dec. 2 Air Force at AIC, 5:05 p.m.

    Dec. 3 Air Force at AIC, 5:05 p.m.

    Dec. 30, Air Force at Colorado College, 7:37 p.m.

    Dec. 31, Denver at Air Force, 6:05 p.m.

    Jan. 20, Air Force at Army, 5:05 p.m.

    Jan. 21, Air Force at Army, 5:05 p.m.

    Jan. 29 Air Force at Canisius, 2:05 p.m.

    Jan. 30 Air Force at Canisius, 5:05 p.m.

    Feb 3, RIT at Air Force, 7:05 p.m.

    Feb 4, RIT at Air Force, 7:05 p.m.

    Feb. 10, Air Force at Niagara, 5:05 p.m.

    Feb. 11, Air Force at Niagara, 5:05 p.m.

    Feb. 24, Air Force at Robert Morris, 5:05 p.m.

    Feb. 25, Air Force at Robert Morris, 5:05 p.m.

  • Buffs visit Clune Arena on Nov. 23

    Thu, July 21, 2011 by admin with 1 comment

    One of Air Force’s most interesting men’s basketball nonconference games over the past few years will be on Nov. 23, as Colorado will visit Clune Arena. The two schools agreed to renew the basketball rivalry last August, signing a four-year contract that will start this season, and the date of the first meeting was revealed when Colorado announced its 2011-12 schedule.

    The Falcons and Buffaloes have played 20 times in men’s basketball, the last meeting coming on Nov. 29, 2007. Colorado has won 17 of those 20 meetings. As Falcons fans know well, the two schools haven’t played in football in almost 40 years.

    Colorado thought it deserved a NCAA Tournament berth last season, but was snubbed and then star guard Alec Burks declared for the NBA draft. Air Force returns many of the players that led the team to a 16-win season.

  • Falcons swimmer Robinson is MWC male scholar-athlete of the year

    Thu, July 21, 2011 by admin with 2 comments

    The moral of this post is, you might not want to engage the Air Force swimming and diving team in an intellectual debate. Over the last eight years, a Falcons swimmer has won the Mountain West male scholar-athlete of the year award an astounding three times.

    The latest to win the award is Eric Robinson, who was team captain the last two years and a two-time all-MW performer, had a 4.0 grade-point average in his major of mathematics, and a 3.98 GPA overall. He was awarded the prestigious Draper Fellowship for graduate study at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

  • Air Force starts practice on Aug. 1

    Wed, July 20, 2011 by admin with no comments

    Fall starts at 8:30 a.m. on Aug. 1, at least for Air Force football fans. The Falcons will hold their first training camp practice on that Monday morning, the unofficial start to one of the most anticipated seasons in recent Air Force football history.

    Here’s the schedule (Air Force generally does not practice on Sundays, and most practices are open to the public, on the fields to the west of the Cadet Field House):

    Monday, Aug. 1 – 8:30 – 10:30 a.m.

    Tuesday, Aug. 2 – 3:45 to 5:30 p.m.

    Wednesday, Aug. 3 – 2:30 – 4 p.m.

    Thursday, Aug. 4 and beyond – Practices will begin at 3:30 p.m. each day, Saturday practices TBA

  • Air Force loses QB recruit to Auburn baseball

    Wed, July 20, 2011 by admin with 4 comments

    From Scout.com, Air Force quarterback recruit Kent Rollins has decided to play baseball at Auburn. Given how many quarterbacks the Falcons are bringing in, they won’t be devastated by that news, but Rollins was a player Air Force was pretty high on when he committed to the academy. The Falcons also knew he was a good baseball player (he had inquired about playing both sports at Air Force) so the news that he chose the diamond shouldn’t be a complete shock to them.

  • A.J. Wallerstein named nominee for AFCA Good Works Team

    Tue, July 19, 2011 by admin with no comments

    Air Force guard A.J. Wallerstein is one of 132 nominees for the American Football Coaches Association Good Works Team, the Falcons announced.

    In this case, it is really an honor to be nominated – the community service award recognizes charitable service while maintaining a good academic standing. Here’s what Wallerstein did to earn this honor, courtesy of Air Force:

    “Wallerstein has been active in his Academy cadet squadron in leadership positions of element leader and academic officer and is on the cadet leadership team during Basic Cadet Training this summer where he was responsible for leading basic cadets in various areas of military training. He was also active in a community service project that donated over 50 man-hours to the Black Forest Animal Sanctuary in Colorado Springs.”

  • Hockey: Four AHA teams will meet with CCHA

    Tue, July 19, 2011 by admin with 3 comments

    The CCHA is looking to take in four Atlantic Hockey Association schools – Canisius, Mercyhurst and Niagara and Robert Morris — in hopes of getting above the required six schools to be a viable conference in 2013. 

    The league and those four schools will meet soon. All four would like to play with up to 18 scholarships, not the 12 allowed by the AHA.

    Air Force coach Frank Serratore has said the Falcons do not intend to leave the AHA.

  • Nice local story on Air Force offensive lineman Jordan Eason

    Tue, July 19, 2011 by admin with no comments

    From the Daily Press in Virginia, here’s a good story on Air Force offensive lineman Jordan Eason. Some of you may have seen it already, but thought I’d share it here.

    Always fun to see stories on Air Force players from their hometowns; it’s interesting to see how most of them explain the process of going to a service academy – which is something I assume most people don’t understand very well. I’m also sure Air Force likes these stories, because they’re almost always positive and help get the word out about the Falcons.

  • Could Mikel Hunter be AFA’s football surprise of 2011

    Thu, July 7, 2011 by David Ramsey with no comments

    For details: