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Originally published Friday, August 6, 2010 at 7:42 PM

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Developer selected for $250 million Husky Stadium renovation

The University of Washington selected Wright Runstad & Company of Seattle as the developer for the renovation of Husky Stadium, with a projected cost of $250 million.

Seattle Times staff reporter

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The University of Washington announced Friday night that it has selected Wright Runstad & Company of Seattle as the developer for the renovation of Husky Stadium, with a projected cost of $250 million.

Construction is tentatively scheduled to begin after the 2011 season, the school said.

Wright Runstad & Company of Seattle was chosen over two other companies that had also bid. The school said the company's bid was nearly $30 million less than the No. 2 proposal.

The school announced that the selection, made by the Husky Stadium Advisory Committee, will go before UW president Mark Emmert for final approval before the university begins the process of ratifying an official predevelopment agreement with the development team.

If all goes as planned, Washington would finish the 2011 season at Husky Stadium, play at Qwest Field in 2012 and return to a renovated Husky Stadium in 2013.

Washington has been attempting to renovate Husky Stadium, originally built in 1920, for more than a decade. It has not had any significant work done since a North upper deck added 13,000 seats in 1987.

A news release said plans include the complete demolition and reconstruction of the lower bowl and south upper stands. The track will be removed, and the field lowered four feet to bring seating closer to the playing surface and improve sightlines.

The statement also said a state-of-the-art football-operations facility — including team meeting rooms, recruiting facilities and coaches offices — will be incorporated into the west end of the stadium. Premium seating opportunities, including 25 suites, 25 loge boxes and more than 2,500 club seats, will be built into the facility. Overall seating capacity is expected to remain similar to the current capacity of 72,500.

"After careful analysis and evaluation of all the submissions, the RFP Selection Committee has unanimously decided that Wright Runstad's proposal provides the best overall value for the project," UW athletic director Scott Woodward said in a statement. "We are excited to take the next step in such an important process to our university and community."

The release said that the committee's decision was based on several factors, including project cost, potential for future revenue and the experience of the development team. Cost was the biggest factor.

"I am appreciative of the committee's time and diligence in evaluating the submitted proposals," Emmert said. "I am excited that a unanimous decision has been reached, and I look forward to reviewing the proposal."

The selection arms school officials with enough specifics about the renovation project to begin soliciting major gifts immediately.

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The school said that the development team features Wright Runstad & Company as the lead developer, 360 Architecture for design, Turner Construction Company for building and MKA for structural and civil needs. MKA worked on Qwest Field, among several other high-profile local projects.

H. Jon Runstad, co-founder, chairman and CEO of Wright Runstad & Company, is a 1964 graduate of the University of Washington where he was a member of the crew team. He also is a past member and president of the UW board of regents.

Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or bcondotta@seattletimes.com

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