The $63 million project to provide new amenities at EverBank Field is on schedule and on budget, the construction manager said Tuesday.


Sid Perkins, the vice president of field operations for the Hunt Construction group, gave a media tour of the status of the project Tuesday and said it will be finished on time by July 15 and will be ready for the Jaguars’ first preseason game in August.

Photos: EverBank Field endzone construction

Perkins said he started the work when the firm was awarded the contract late last year but before it was formally signed in February.

Team president Mark Lamping said the scoreboards should be ready for use when owner Shad Khan’s soccer team, Fulham, plays a friendly match tentatively scheduled for July 26.

But they won’t be in use when the U.S. soccer team plays a game on June 7 or for the Florida Country Superfest June 14-15.

Perkins said the Hunt company is doing the project as a joint venture with Elkins Constructors, a local firm. Perkins said that workers are on the job 16 hours a day and seven days a week and will eventually go around the clock.

Delays like the one caused by the rain Tuesday morning are built into the schedule. Perkins said the safety of the workers is paramount so they stop construction if it is rainy or too windy.

The new ribbon boards on the sides of the stadium and above the two entrances from the field are already completed.

Perkins’ firm is also installing the two new scoreboards that will be 60 feet high and 362 feet long, the biggest in the world, in each end zone.

The workers are also taking out seats at the top of the north end zone to build two wading pools about
3 1/2 feet deep.

There will two decks of pricey seats above the pools.

This area will be covered for the Florida-Georgia game and the Taxslayer Bowl so as not to reduce the seating capacity.

The workers have already removed the insides of the old scoreboards, but the outside structure will remain to help hold up the new scoreboards. That will save money by not having to totally demolish them.

The project is a lot more difficult than it looks. For example, removing seats is not as simple as unbolting them. They must drill in the concrete under them and lift them up without causing any damage underneath them.

And they had to move all the underground utilities without cutting any cables.

They also have to install columns in the end zone to hold up the new scoreboards, which are being built by Daktronics, a South Dakota firm that has a picture on their website of how they will look when they are installed.

The scoreboards will be brought by truck to Jacksonville in May.

Perkins said he has to coordinate all the workers to be in the right place and the right time.

“We all have to be working off the same sheet music,” said Perkins, 58.

The new and expensive seating options will help grow the team’s local revenue without increasing ticket prices across the board.

While Perkins’ firm is building the two decks of seats above the pools, the Jaguars are constructing three more seating options on their own — field seats, tables in the club seat areas and stools behind an end-zone bar.

Vito Stellino: (904) 359-4279