Finally, solid answers as to the future of the Husky Stadium renovation project are available tonight as the school today selected Wright Runstad & Company of Seattle as the developer.
The school also announced that the project will have a cost of $250 million, nearly $30 million less than the next-closest proposal — UW originally considered three, whittled that to two in recent weeks and made a final selection today. The decision was made by the Husky Stadium Advisory Committee.
The school also announced that construction will begin after the 2011 season with the Huskies playing in Qwest Field in 2012.
The school also announced that 360 Architecture will handle the design and Turner Construction the building.
“After careful analysis and evaluation of all the submissions, the RFP Selection Committee has unanimously decided that Wright Runstad’s proposal provides the best overall value for the project,” UW athletic director Scott Woodward said in a statement. “We are excited to take the next step in such an important process to our university and community.”
The school says that plans include the complete demolition and reconstruction of the lower bowl and southside upper stands. It also says that the track will be removed, and the field lowered four feet to bring seating closer to the playing surface and improve sightlines. A state-of-the-art football operations facility including team meeting rooms, recruiting facilities and coaches offices will be incorporated into the west end of the stadium. Premium seating opportunities, including 25 suites, 25 loge boxes, and over 2,500 club seats, will be built into the facility. Overall seating capacity is expected to remain similar to the current capacity.
“We are honored to embark on such an exciting project,” Jon Runstad, Chief Executive Officer of Wright Runstad & Company said in a statement. “These renovations will provide Husky fans with a facility to match the first-class tradition of Husky football.”
The school announced that the committee’s decision was based on a number of factors including project cost, potential for future revenue generation and experience of the development team, with cost being the biggest factor. The proposal will be brought before the university president for approval before the university begins the process of ratifying an official predevelopment agreement with the development team. (Word is that there were will be no drawings made public until the final approval as there is some wiggle room until then).
“I am appreciative of the committee’s time and diligence in evaluating the submitted proposals,” university president Mark Emmert said. “I am excited that a unanimous decision has been reached, and I look forward to reviewing the proposal.”
The proposal selection arms school officials with enough specifics about the renovation project to begin major gift solicitation immediately.
The school also gave this bio of the development team:
Led by Wright Runstad & Company, the selected development team has world-class construction and design experience in sports facilities. The team features Wright Runstad & Company as the lead developer, 360 Architecture for design, Turner Construction Company for building and MKA for structural and civil needs. Members of the development team have a wealth of experience in college and professional athletics building construction including: Qwest Field (Seattle Seahawks), Sanford Stadium expansion (University of Georgia), Ben Hill Griffin Stadium expansion (University of Florida), and Bobby Dodd Stadium expansion (Georgia Tech).
UPDATE — Worth noting that Jon Runstad, one of the founding partners of the company, is a former member of UW’s Board of Regents and a 1964 UW graduate who was on the crew team there. Also worth nothing that Runstad was on the initial Husky Stadium Advisory Committee before resigning last April.