Richland PFD narrows Hanford Reach center design field to 3

By Sara Schilling, Tri-City HeraldNovember 20, 2012 

Three architect and contractor teams still are in the running to design and construct the first building on the Hanford Reach Interpretive Center campus.

The Richland Public Facilities District board Monday narrowed the field as it draws closer to selecting a final design-build team.

The three teams chosen to submit full proposals are: DGR Grant Construction and Terence L. Thornhill Architect; Bouten Construction and MMEC Architecture and Interiors; and Chervenell Construction and Meier Architecture.

The board is on track to make a final selection in January. Construction of the 10,000- to 15,000-square-foot building with a 10,000-square-foot unfinished basement then could start in mid-2013 and wrap up the following year, said John Koberg, project manager.

The long-planned interpretive center will go on the west end of Columbia Park.

A total of 10 design-build teams submitted initial proposals, and the interpretive center's building committee winnowed the field to six.

Those six made pitches to the public facilities district board at meetings last week.

"The six that were given to us were all very, very good," said board President Fred Raab during Monday's meeting. "One could have thrown darts at a selection sheet and not done badly."

The public facilities district board has five members, but two -- Daniel Boyd and Steven Simmons -- didn't participate in the selection because of professional ties to some of the firms.

The interpretive center project -- in the works for a decade -- has been delayed through the years by issues including where it will be built. The scaled-back plan now includes a phased approach, with more buildings possible in the future.

The budget for design and construction of the first building is about $3.35 million.

-- Sara Schilling: 582-1529; sschilling@tricityherald.com

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