The Oregon Convention Center is undergoing a major renovation to reinvigorate the image of the convention center to local Portlanders, as well as improve its national competitiveness. The project construction bidding resulted in the largest Oregon public works contract being awarded to a minority owned business, Colas Construction, as the general contractor for the $39 million project.
“The Oregon Convention Center is important to the region’s economy. I am proud to continue to deliver on our social contract to increase economic benefits to the region by awarding more than half of this construction project to COBID-certified firms,” said Craig Stroud, executive director of the convention center.
The state of Oregon’s Certification Office for Business Inclusion and Diversity was established with the primary goal to level the playing field by providing certified firms a fair opportunity to compete for government contracts regardless of owner ethnicity, gender, disability, or firm size.
Colas Construction’s 20+ years of relationships proved extremely beneficial in the current industry boom, resulting in an unprecedented response and corresponding awards to minority firms. “I would say this is unprecedented in many states and across the country not just the state of Oregon. When I shared our subcontracting results at the National Association of Minority Contractors, they were floored that 56 percent of our contacted work was going to subs that are certified by the Office for Business Inclusion and Diversity,” said Andrew Colas, president of Colas Construction.
The renovation design inspiration brings Oregon’s landscape aesthetics inside the convention center with lichen-like carpets and forest-canopy ceilings. The center’s north plaza will also undergo significant improvements to provide enhanced space to serve clients, as well as improve wayfinding for adjacent hotel guests and public transit commuters from the MAX station to the building’s main entries. The renovation work will be completed to coincide with the opening of the Hyatt Regency Portland.
The Oregon Convention Center is the largest convention center in the Pacific Northwest with 255,000 square feet of contiguous exhibit space, two grand ballrooms, 52 individual meeting rooms, superior catering and concession offerings, and a full-time staff of over 110 professionals, making it the perfect venue to service events from 10 to 10,000 attendees.
National conventions attract and support activities that create jobs and produce robust economic impacts with approximately 109,000 tourism jobs in Oregon and 37,000+ of those in the Portland area. The center’s activities generated $625 million in regional economic impact in fiscal year 2017.
About the Oregon Convention Center
The Oregon Convention Center is owned by Metro and managed by the Metro Exposition and Recreation Commission. OCC is a sustainably operated LEED® Platinum facility that hosts groups from around the world and brings millions of dollars into the Portland and Oregon economy.