Often referred to as one of the most picturesque and fan-friendly college baseball stadiums in the nation, Western Specialty Contractors – Orlando Branch recently completed improvements to Stetson University’s Melching Field stadium in DeLand, Florida.

Home to the Stetson Hatters, Melching Field opened in 1999 and features a full-service concessions area and bench seating for 2,500 spectators with grass berms for approximately 500 additional fans.

The red brick and stucco stadium demonstrated signs of weathering as well as wear and tear upon the initial evaluation. As a result, Western Specialty Contractors was contracted to perform the following improvements:

  • Remove previously existing traffic coating.
  • Prepare the delaminated concrete for a new traffic coating.
  • Perform stair tread and riser resurfacing prior to coating application.
  • Install expansion joints.
  • Apply a new Sikalastic pedestrian coating system.

Western Specialty Contractors Melching Field Stadium Seating Before Renovation

Seating before renovation.

Photo courtesy of Western Specialty Contractors


Western’s concrete experts faced several challenges on the project, which included removal of the existing urethane coating system. Western used hydro-demolition methods to safely and effectively remove the old system without causing extensive damage to the stadium’s concrete, particularly on its vertical surfaces.

Western Specialty Contractors Melching Field Stadium Seating After Renovation

Seating after renovation.

Photo courtesy of Western Specialty Contractors


“Stair riser resurfacing was necessary on a variety of different locations, which provided a new challenge for the foreman to properly demonstrate how to properly prepare the concrete surface and apply a feather-grade skim coat on all of the affected areas with efficiency,” said Anthony Santiago, Western Project Manager.

The moisture in the concrete during the project’s rainy season also posed a challenge. With the concrete’s moisture readings averaging 5 percent, determining the best time to apply the coating to the concrete surface was a constant battle.

Originally resurfacing all vertical surfaces utilizing a two-component epoxy product under the drastic climate shifts caused outgassing of the material which left bubbles in the finish. Western’s experts determined that utilizing a unique feather-grade, single-component material would maintain the most consistent finish for the project.

Western Specialty Contractors Melching Field Stadium Concourse After Renovation

Concourse after renovation.

Photo courtesy of Western Specialty Contractors


“Sikadur-31 is the epoxy product that was initially anticipated to utilize as a concrete finish prior to the urethane coating,” Santiago said. “Although the product showed promise on resurfacing vertical stair risers, it was not the most effective in a turnkey project. The solution was to apply SikaQuick Smooth Finish bag mix, which proved more efficient in installation and turnaround as it virtually provided the same attributes as the epoxy for the intended use. The product transmitted a smooth, consistent look into the urethane coating at vertical sections of the stadium.”

Western’s innovative solution reduced the overall project cost and allowed the team to complete the project on schedule.