U selects contractor

The committee named a local company to construct the new football stadium.

by Tiff Clements

The University named a general contactor for TCF Bank Stadium on Wednesday.

Minneapolis-based M.A. Mortenson Co. will be responsible for the stadium construction, slated to begin in July.

Vice President for University Services Kathleen O’Brien, co-chairwoman of the project executive committee, said the company offered the University the most competitive proposal.

“They had the lowest fee, a very strong safety record, and Mortenson has very extensive experience both locally and nationally on public projects and sports projects,” she said.

O’Brien said the experienced staff Mortenson presented during the selection process impressed her.

“The project manager and the superintendent were people who had been working on the rehabilitation of the University of Iowa stadium,” she said. “They had very high marks from the University of Iowa in the work they did there.”

O’Brien said the University is currently in contract negotiations with M.A. Mortenson. She said she hopes the contracts will be executed within the next two weeks so the University and the company can move forward with construction planning meetings.

Brian Swanson, the University’s stadium project coordinator, said the selection process began last October with a nationwide request for proposals.

Based on that request, the University received complete responses from three pairs of companies: M.A. Mortenson and Thor Construction, Turner Construction Co. and Kraus-Anderson, and Knutson Construction Services and Barton Malow Co.

Swanson said the next step hinged on regent approval of stadium designs.

“We waited until the board approved the design and then we sent each of them a copy,” he said.

After receiving the designs, the three companies submitted project proposals, which contained outlines of estimated construction costs, safety records and company histories.

Swanson said a series of interviews accompanied project proposals.

“All three firms gave really good presentations and submitted good proposals,” he said.

Vice President and General Manager of M.A. Mortenson’s Minneapolis office Ken Sorenson said his company has previous experience working with the University on projects like the rowing facility and McNamara Alumni Center.

“We’ve demonstrated our abilities and capabilities on a number of projects at the University in the past,” he said.

Sorenson said the company is excited to work closely with the University community.

“We think it’s an honor and a privilege to be part of the team that will bring Gopher football back to campus,” he said.

M.A. Mortenson gained experience in stadium construction as the general contractor for the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul and the Target Center in Minneapolis. The company will also build the new Minnesota Twins stadium.

TCF Bank Stadium is scheduled to open in 2009. The University still needs to raise $31 million to meet its contribution to stadium financing.