By Annie Martin at the News-Journal
DAYTONA BEACH — A DeLand-based company will supply metal panels for Daytona International Speedway's $400 million overhaul.
Kingspan Insulated Panels will provide insulated metal panels totaling 125,000 square feet, Speedway and Kingspan officials announced Friday. The company also will become the first partner in the “We Built Daytona” marketing platform, which will allow manufacturers to showcase their involvement in the project after it's completed.
The financial terms of the agreement between the Speedway and Kingspan weren't disclosed.
The panels will be part of the interior sections of five new large gates with escalators that will take fans to the Speedway's shopping and dining areas in the frontstretch. About 80 percent of the panels used in the project will be manufactured at Kingspan's plant in DeLand. The Speedway also will use metal wall systems by Morin, a Kingspan company, to build about 400,000 square feet of the stadium's new exterior.
The Speedway project, known as Daytona Rising, is expected to create 6,300 jobs, $300 million in labor income and more than $80 million in tax revenue. Construction has slowed over the past few weeks to accommodate the races and fans won't see workers or cranes this weekend, but activity will pick up next month, said Joie Chitwood III, the Speedway's president.
“We'll go from having a couple of hundred workers on our site to more than 1,000 in March,” he said.
Fans will see major changes next year, Chitwood said, when there will be a mix of old and new seating in the grandstands. By the start of Speedweeks 2016, the Speedway will have about 101,000 wider seats, twice as many restrooms and three times as many concessions stands. The Speedway also will offer more than 60 luxury suites and better hospitality for corporate guests.
“When you see it in reality how tall it is, and it's taller than the current grandstand, I think that's when it really hits you how mammoth it is,” Chitwood said.
The new escalators and elevators are among the amenities most anticipated by fans, he said. The easier access to the frontstretch will allow older fans to attend races longer and provide an experience comparable to other sports facilities for younger fans.
“Going up and down stairs in this day and age is pretty challenging,” Chitwood said.
Kingspan, which has about 130 local workers, describes itself as the world's largest manufacturer of insulated panels. The DeLand plant opened in 2008. Last year, Kingspan Group PLC, the Ireland- and United Kingdom-based company that operates Kingspan Insulated Panels, designated the DeLand plant as the North American headquarters for its insulated panels division. Kingspan Insulated Panels previously was headquartered in Jessup, Md.
The company has provided products for other sports facilities such as the Wimbledon Stadium, Fergal Murphy, vice president of sales for Kingspan U.S., said Friday.
“Our key focus is on sustainable construction projects,” he said.
— Business Writer Jeffrey Cassady contributed to this report.