Big video screen to be ready by May

Crews from Granite Contracting of Concord used dump trucks and excavators to begin initial grading this month at Charlotte Motor Speedway for what the speedway calls the world's largest HD video board.

Grading is being done on the backstretch near Gate 25, where the nearly 16,000-square-foot board will be installed in time for the May races.

Designed and created by Panasonic, the 200-foot-wide, 80-foot-tall screen will be centered along the backstretch between Turns 2 and 3, across from the start-finish line.

Fans seated throughout the front stretch from Turn 4 to Turn 1 will have clear views of instant replays, leader board updates and interactive entertainment displayed in 720P high-definition visuals, speedway spokesman Scott Cooper said.

The screen will be illuminated by more than 9 million LED lamps during each NASCAR event this spring, including the May 21 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and the May 29 Coca-Cola 600, Cooper said.

To prepare the base of the construction site, about 18,000 cubic yards of dirt and 3,000 cubic yards of concrete are being removed this month to bring the current grade down to the track wall level, Cooper said. The concrete will be removed during demolition of bleachers that were part of the speedway's original construction in 1960, he said.

Site work this month has also included drilling 12 holes more than 50 feet deep to install concrete piers to support the 165,000-pound structure, Cooper said.

Mooresville street bonds nearly all spent

The Mooresville Board of Commissioners approved spending up to $381,341 last week on one of the town's final street improvement projects under the $8 million in street bonds voters approved in 2005.

The board voted unanimously to award a contract to WH Warr & Son Inc. to install sidewalks, pavement and storm drains on Brookwood Drive and Spence Avenue near N.C. 801. The project will take about four months, Mooresville Engineering Manager Ryan Rase told the board.

The only other remaining planned project is the $265,000 in improvements to East McLelland Avenue, Rase said. That will still leave $180,000 available for other improvements, he said.

Commissioner Chris Carney said all of the improvements under the 2005 bonds have been east of U.S. 21. He urged the board to remember the west side, meaning the Lake Norman area, when considering how to spend future money on streets. Carney represents that western side of town.

CM Black completes Wingate residence hall

Concord-based CM Black Construction Co. completed a new residence hall at Wingate University in time for the university's spring semester that began Jan. 12.

The residence hall is three stories and about 26,000 square feet. It houses 96 students and is the third such residence hall built by CM Black on the campus.

The project was completed 20-percent faster than typical residence halls of similar dimensions, because the university needed the building to meet an unprecedented student population, CM Black officials said. Wingate had its largest freshman class ever in fall 2010 and needed the building constructed in less than six months.

CM Black is also constructing the Levine College of Health Sciences building on the campus.

Mooresville OKs $165,138 for playground

The Mooresville Board of Commissioners voted unanimously last week to let the Mooresville Recreation Department spend $165,138 from town recreation bond funds on playground equipment for Mazeppa Park. The money will also pay for rubber surfaces under all of the equipment.