Reach center board expected to select build team

By Sara Schilling, Tri-City HeraldJanuary 11, 2013 

The public board guiding the Hanford Reach Interpretive Center project is expected to decide Monday on an architect and contractor team to handle the first building on the center's campus.

The Richland City Council next week also will consider approving the contractor for site work -- another milestone in the years-long effort to build a center to tell the story of the Mid-Columbia region.

"It will be a very big week, an exciting week," said Lisa Toomey, the Reach project's chief executive officer.

Several design-build teams submitted proposals for the first Reach building, and the Richland Public Facilities District board last fall narrowed the field to three finalists.

The three teams submitted detailed proposals in late December. A group, including board members and Reach staff, is evaluating and scoring them. John Koberg, Reach project manager, said he'll tabulate the scores and present them to the board Monday to help members make a decision.

The three design-build team finalists are: DGR Grant Construction and Terence L. Thornhill Architect; Bouten Construction and MMEC Architecture and Interiors; and Chervenell Construction and Meier Architecture.

The day after the public facilities district board meets to consider selecting one of them, the Richland City Council is expected to give its blessing to Apollo Inc. as the contractor for site work. The Kennewick company made the low bid.

The site work will include building some roads and paths, and extending water and sewer infrastructure.

The long-delayed Reach project has been in the works for about a decade. A larger facility once was envisioned, but the scaled-back plan now starts with a 10,000- to 15,000-square-foot building with a 10,000-square-foot basement.

More buildings could come in the future. The campus will be at the west end of Columbia Park.

Officials have said the budget to design and construct the first building is about $3.35 million.

Members of the public facilities board Thursday spent the afternoon with design-build team finalists, going over their ideas and asking questions in advance of Monday's session.

"It's a very important decision. We want to give (board members) as much information and access as possible to make this decision," Toomey said before the workshop began. "We've been looking forward to this for a long time."

Monday's meeting is 4 p.m. at Richland City Hall, 505 Swift Blvd.

-- Sara Schilling: 582-1529;; Twitter: @saraTCHerald

Tri-City Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service