The concrete-and-steel skeleton of the long-shuttered Miami Marine Stadium is pocked with moderate to severe corrosion but could be feasibly repaired for as little as $5.6 million, a new engineering analysis released Tuesday says.
But the report, by the nationally recognized firm of Simpson Gumpertz & Heger, suggests the minimum price for basic repair would be higher because its engineers were unable to analyze the pilings sunk into bay bottom that support the stadium.
The condition of those hard-to-access pilings is ‘’largely unknown,'' the report concluded, and would require costly analysis before any repairs to the stadium could prudently proceed.
Still, contractors who estimated the repair costs for SGH said the good news is the 46-year-old, publicly-owned stadium -- considered a marvel of architecture and engineering -- is eminently salvageable.
‘’The steel's in real good shape,'' said Robert Cunningham, a representative for Structural Preservation Systems, the structural-repair company that rescued Frank Lloyd Wright's sagging Fallingwater house in Pennsylvania. ‘’It's an amazingly well-built facility.''
The new report, which was commissioned by the World Monuments Fund and other preservation groups, pegs repair costs at far less than previously estimated, boosting the prospects for the stadium's renovation.
The report concluded that basic structural repairs could go as high as $8.5 million if the city chose to also include a range of protective measures, such as chemical treatment of the concrete, to slow corrosion from seawater in the future. An earlier, less in-depth study by the city estimated concrete-repair costs as high as $15 million.
Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado, who has said renovating the stadium is a key goal of his administration, said he is confident the cost of repair can be covered by state, federal and private grants.
‘’This report shows it can be done,'' Regalado said Tuesday as he showed World Monuments Fund president Bonnie Burnham around the graffiti-covered facility, which has been closed since Hurricane Andrew in 1992.
The group, which works to save world architectural landmarks, last year put the stadium on its watch list of endangered sites, but Burnham had not visited the site until Tuesday. She compared the raw-concrete shell to a sculpture.
‘’It makes a huge impression,'' she said, standing under the stadium's vast overhanging roof. ‘’I can't think of any place like it in the world. It's like a building that's been sleeping.''