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Spokane Convention Center work goes to Garco, ALSC

A design-build team led by a Spokane contractor working with two architectural firms has won a competition to build a $41 million expansion of the Spokane Convention Center.

Garco Construction Co., of Spokane, was selected as the general contractor following a vote Tuesday by the board of the Spokane Public Facilities District. The PFD is a local government entity that operates the Convention Center, Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena and the INB Performing Arts Center.

Architectural work will be done by ALSC Architects of Spokane, which brought in a convention center design expert, LMN Architects of Seattle, as part of its team.

Three teams participated in the design-build competition, presenting concepts for the 90,000-square-foot expansion.

ALSC previously designed the Three Rivers Convention Center in Kennewick, but wanted LMN to strenghten its team, said Jeff Warner, a principal architect at ALSC.

The two other teams were Lydig Construction with Integrus Architecture and YLK-JV with Bernardo-Wills Architects.

Warner said that the construction concepts presented to the PFD during the competition amounted to 30 percent of the design work needed on the project.

Each of the unsuccessful competitors is receiving a $100,000 honorarium to defray part of the expense of developing the proposals, Warner said.

The designs were based on criteria developed in a pre-planning process by the PFD, convention center experts and local interests in the convention center business, said CEO Kevin Twohig, of the PFD.

The project also includes improvements and changes to the Spokane River shoreline next to the convention center. The total price of the expansion and shoreline improvements is $50 million, he said.

In addition, a seating expansion is planned for the Arena.

Voters in April 2012 approved a 10-year extension of the district’s 0.1 percent sales tax and 2 percent hotel-motel tax from 2033 to 2043 to pay for the projects.

A daylong open house last Thursday on the construction proposals drew about 500 people, according to a news release from the PFD.

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