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  • With four levels of winding corridors surrounded by glass, the Denny Sanford Premier Center chose to use polished concrete flooring throughout the facility to provide both good light reflectivity and easy maintenance.
  • The floors were left a natural gray, enhanced by decorative bands of black-dyed concrete.
  • The polishing sequence started by cutting the floors with 30-grit metal bond diamonds and progressively working up to 1,200-grit resin bond diamonds. For the final sheen, a 10,000-grit burnishing pad was used.
  • Decorative 1/8-inch-deep score cuts were made in the floors to create a clean separation between the plain polished concrete and the dyed polished bands.

The Denny Sanford Premier Center in Sioux Falls, S.D., is a beautiful new multipurpose arena that houses sporting events, concerts, conventions, meetings, banquets, and more. The four-level facility, which was completed in 2014, is said to be the largest indoor event venue between Omaha and Fargo and from Minneapolis/St. Paul to Denver. With over 80,000 square feet of corridors and steps, the facility needed a durable, low-maintenance floor finish that could hold up under heavy foot traffic.

“The owner reps for the Denny Sanford Premier Center were looking for a finished floor that could withstand high foot traffic yet be quickly and easily maintained between each event. The new arena is surrounded by glass, and they were also looking for a floor that would reflect light to enhance the building’s interior finishes,” says Steve Bulach, president of Bulach Custom Rock, the contractor hired to polish the equivalent of nearly 2 acres of concrete flooring.

Although the concrete floors were newly poured, Bulach had to tear out and repour some sections to ensure a uniform polished finish. “The floors we were grinding were 5000 psi with pink quartzite aggregate. First we cut the floor with a 30-grit metal bond diamond and then progressively worked our way up to a 1,200-grit resin bond diamond followed by a 10,000-grit burnishing pad for the final sheen. In all, we did an eight-step polishing process on the entire project,” says Bulach.

In addition to the polishing work, the project also required installing black-colored decorative bands outlined by sawcuts. “We cut in all the bands with a dustless worm-drive saw, cutting the score joints about 1/8-inch deep, just deep enough for a clean separation between the plain polished concrete and the dyed polished bands,” Bulach explains.

Attached to an existing convention center and arena, the Denny Sanford Premier Center consists of an event level, main concourse level, suite level, and upper concourse. “With an arena that size, it was difficult to get a flowing schedule. We ended up hopping around from area to area throughout the entire project. Overall, despite the obstacles we encountered, we are very proud of the results,” says Bulach. The project was also recognized by the Decorative Concrete Council, earning a first place 2015 award for polished concrete floors over 5,000 square feet.

Equipment and materials used:
Floor grinders and polishers: Supplied by SASE and HTC
Concrete dyes, densifiers, and polishing guards: Bomanite Corp.

Construction contractor:
M.A. Mortenson Co., Minneapolis

Architectural team:
Koch Hazard, Sioux Falls
Sink Combs Dethlefs, Denver, Colo.

Concrete polishing contractor:
Bulach Custom Rock LLC, Inver Grove Heights, Minn.

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