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Paula Yancey

Paula Yancey. (Courtesy photo)

Paula Yancey, who has monitored construction of four arenas across the Midwest, has been named project manager for the West Haymarket arena project.

Yancey, president of PC Sports, took over many of the duties of previous project manager Jim Martin after the three elected officials overseeing arena construction ended the contract with Martin's employer, SAIC.

Yancey, 41, began working with a construction management firm, Project Control in San Antonio, in 1993 while earning her business management degree from the University of Phoenix.

In 1999, Project Control asked Yancey to manage construction of the AT&T Center, home to the NBA's San Antonio Spurs.

"I moved out of my office to a trailer on the job site and just started in sports. And I've been in sports ever since," Yancey said in an interview this week.

When that project was finished, "I moved to Memphis and did another one," she said.

Yancey has worked on the FedEx Forum in Memphis, Tenn., and the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.

She most recently was the owner's representative for the Yum! Center that opened last year in Louisville, Ky.

Yancey said it was an interesting way to get started in the business.

Building arenas across the country was not a career option offered by her high school guidance counselor in Mountain Home, Idaho, she said.

The project manager oversees the scope, time and cost of a project, said Yancey, who is a certified project management professional (PMP).

She works daily with the architects and the contractor to make sure everyone is communicating and coordinating. "It's making sure the team is all working together," she said.

That includes tracking the budget and keeping everyone true to that budget.

"It's exciting to see something start from nothing and then have thousands of people standing outside on opening night," she said.

Yancey began working on the West Haymarket arena mid-stream.

The Joint Public Agency decided to hire a specific arena manager after part of the design work was done and Mortenson Construction had been hired as construction manager.

Yancey originally was hired as part of the contract with SAIC, which was project manager for the entire project, including streets and parking facilities.

The three-member JPA board ended the contract with SAIC at its July 15 meeting, saying the project did not need as much oversight as originally believed.

The JPA is negotiating a contract with PC Sports for the entire project.

"It's just more pieces," Yancey said of the broadened scope of her work.

Yancey recently acquired 51 percent of PC Sports, a division of Project Control started in 2001.

Yancey calls Des Moines, Iowa, home, but lives in Ashland during the week.

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Reach Nancy Hicks at 402-473-7250 or nhicks@journalstar.com.

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