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The Wisconsin Center District has named the architects for a planned expansion of the Wisconsin Center convention facility. (PHOTO: Visit Milwaukee)

Wisconsin Center District names architects for convention center expansion

At a meeting this morning, Wisconsin Center District (WCD) President and CEO Marty Brooks announced that the architecture team of tvsdesign and EUA has been selected to design the expansion of the Wisconsin Center.

"Today's announcement is a critical milestone in this exciting and ambitious process," said Brooks. "The expanded Wisconsin Center will be a facility providing superb, captivating, and buzzworthy experiences to all who enter. We will create jobs, generate economic impact and capitalize on the momentum that Milwaukee is only starting to feel. It's the beginning of a new legacy."

Based in Atlanta, with offices in Los Angeles and Shanghai, tvsdesign is an award-winning globally recognized authority in convention center design. tvsdesign has most recently completed expansions for the Las Vegas Convention Center, and the largest convention center in North America, McCormick Place in Chicago.

tvsdesign is partnered with Milwaukee-based firm EUA. EUA is best known for designing environments that elevate people's potential. The 112-year-old firm has been involved in many of Milwaukee's landmark projects including Fiserv Forum, Miller Park, Milwaukee Intermodal Station, Discovery World addition, and dozens of projects on the Summerfest Grounds including the American Family Insurance Amphitheater. EUA is based in Milwaukee's Third Ward.

"On behalf of EUA and tvsdesign, we are incredibly proud to have been selected," said Rich Tennessen, President of EUA. "The combined expertise of our EUA staff with the world-class convention center team at tvsdesign is ready to design a convention center that draws people from around the world to experience our phenomenal city."

Today's announcement was the latest in a series of benchmarking events which need to be met in order for a final financing package to be created. The next milestone is the selection of the construction manager, expected to be announced by the end of January. Once these two entities are able to work together, a blueprint will emerge and with it, a more concise cost for the project.

"The WCD Board has been very pleased with the progress of the Wisconsin Center expansion project thus far," said WCD Board Chairman, Jim Kanter. "We are committed to making fact-based, strategic business decisions that are in the best interest of the city, the region, and the state. The Board is one of the most engaged I've ever seen, and I am proud of the work that we are doing to make an impact in our area."

On Nov. 8, 2019, CAA ICON – acting as the owner's representative on behalf of the WCD – issued the RFQ to a combination of 17 local and national architectural firms. Of the 17 firms, 14 combined with partners, forming seven teams total. Responses were due Dec. 3 and in-person interviews with each team were subsequently held.

Each team was vetted against the same criteria:
i. Relevant Experience
ii. Personnel
iii. Project Approach
iv. Design duration schedule
v. Pre-development fees
vi. Contract review/edits
vii. Inclusion goal approach

"Having just come off the excitement and momentum of the Fiserv Forum project, it was energizing to see the level of presentations from each team," said Marc Farha, Executive Vice President of CAA ICON. "It was clear that the WCD's expectation of building a best-in-class facility for Milwaukee, the region, and the state was heard loud and clear by all who participated."

Next, CAA ICON and representatives from the WCD will be vetting construction management responses from the Invitation to Bid, issued Nov. 25. Responses are due tomorrow, December 20. In person interviews are scheduled for the week of Jan. 6, with an award expected the second week of January.

The next WCD Board meeting is scheduled for Jan. 24, 2020.


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