Basketball Arena Design-Build Team Selected

July 29, 2002

SPOKANE, Wash. - Gonzaga University President Robert J. Spitzer, S.J., announced Monday the selection of Spokane-based Garco Construction Inc., ALSC Architects of Spokane and Ellerbe Becket of San Francisco as the design-build team for its proposed new 6,000-seat basketball arena.

The same companies coordinated the design and construction of the 6-year-old Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena in downtown Spokane.

The total cost of the project is not to exceed $23 million. Fr. Spitzer said construction will not begin until at least 80 percent of its cost - $18.4 million - is raised. The arena project is part of The Campaign for Gonzaga University, a $119-million fundraising effort announced April 18 to pay for the largest endowment and construction initiative in Gonzaga's 115-year history. The motto for The Campaign for Gonzaga University is "Educating People the World Needs Most." John Stone, principal of John Stone Development, Spokane, is leading the fundraising effort.

"We think the proposal was excellent and we look forward to a great relationship with Garco, ALSC and Ellerbe Becket," said Spitzer. "This project will be a very positive contribution to the community."

Gonzaga University Trustee Tim Barnard, CEO of Barnard Construction Co., Inc., of Bozeman, Mont., and chair of the Arena Advisory Committee, said six design-build teams submitted proposals for the project, from which three were chosen to give formal presentations to the university's selection committee.

"All six proposals met our outline, and all six of the design-build teams could have done the job," Barnard said. "It was a very competitive process."

Gonzaga Athletic Director Mike Roth said the university is "extremely pleased, and excited" about the selection of this design-build team.

"This project attracted design-builders from throughout the country and all of the teams put together tremendously competitive plans. The team of Garco, ALSC and Ellerbe Becket did, however, stand out. Their mix of local ties, tremendous experience and national acclaim is a winning combination for Gonzaga University. This is a landmark project for Gonzaga athletics, Gonzaga University and the Spokane community and we are very excited to be moving forward with this team."

Tim Welsh, president of Garco Construction, said he is delighted to have been chosen.

"All of the employees at Garco Construction Inc. and ALSC Architects are pleased that Gonzaga University has put their trust in the local team to design and build Gonzaga the best 6,000-seat arena possible," Welsh said. "Ellerbe Becket rounds out the same team that designed and built the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena and brings the national expertise needed to give Gonzaga athletics the feel they presently have in the 'Kennel.' We want to thank the selection committee and Father Spitzer for that trust, and we look forward to this great opportunity."

Barnard said the team will now begin working on a design leading toward a contract for a guaranteed, not-to-exceed price of $23 million for a 6,000-seat arena. The arena will be located on the southeast portion of campus where the baseball field, August/A.R.T. Stadium, is currently located. The baseball field will be moved to a site to be determined on the southern part of Gonzaga's campus.

Gonzaga officials expect that a majority of the design and construction work will be done by Spokane-area subcontractors with Garco serving as the general contractor. Ellerbe Becket has done 40 arena facilities nationwide in the last decade, including the Rose Garden in Portland, Ore., Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianpolis and arenas for the University of Miami, University of Virginia, Santa Clara University and many other professional and collegiate facilities.



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