Churchill Downs Renovation Off and Running
Date Posted: 7/11/2003 1:17:58 PM
Last Updated: 7/11/2003 3:15:57 PM

Demolition that is part of phase II of the Churchill Downs renovation plan began Friday with the colonnade at gate 10, constructed in 1924.
Photo: Jennifer Stevens/Churchill Downs Inc.
The second phase of Churchill Downs' $121 million renovation project took another step forward on July 11 as the demolition of a large section of the historic track's clubhouse began.

The demolition work began near the Gate 10 entrance to the
Clubhouse. A colonnade walkway, first used in the 1924 Spring Meet and connected to that entrance, was the first area of the track to be demolished and the structure was on the ground in minutes. A large section of the Clubhouse will be razed and rebuilt in the $95 million second phase of the renovation. The demolition is scheduled to be finished in September.

The beginning of the massive job of razing those sections of the Clubhouse began a few days ahead of schedule. Efforts to clear out the areas of the track that are slated for demolition, which began with the completion of the Churchill Downs Spring Meet on July 6, have moved more quickly than expected and that has allowed the demolition effort to be
launched earlier than anticipated. The start of the demolition effort had been tentatively set for July 16.

"We have set a very ambitious schedule for the second phase of our renovation project, so we are very pleased to gain a few days on the front end of that schedule," said Steve Sexton, president of Churchill Downs. "This quick start is a credit to our dedicated employees, who have worked tirelessly since the end of the meet to get the facility ready for this effort and we appreciate their work to accelerate one of the most important endeavors in Churchill Downs history."

Phase II of the renovation will transform the Clubhouse into a year-round facility with new seating, 15 additional luxury suites, a new Turf Club, dining areas, meeting rooms, a Gold Room for Twin Spires Club members, and new Press Box. It is scheduled for completion in early 2005. The $26 million first phase of the renovation, which included the construction of 64 Jockey Club Suites and a restoration of the historic Twin Spires, is scheduled for completion in September.

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