By Stephanie Basalyga, Business Tribune
$40 million project sets new bar for public agencies for diversity and inclusion in contracting, workforce.
The recently completed $40 million renovation of the Oregon Convention Center hasn't just resulted in a new look from the event center. It's also set the bar for how contracting on public projects can be structured to create a fair playing field that supports diversity and inclusion.
That was the message shared by speakers during a Monday, Oct. 21, event to recognize the finish of the year-long project, which resulted in updates to both the interior and exterior of the 30-year-old building on Northeast Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in Portland's eastside.
With Colas Construction onboard as general contractor, along with project partner Raimore Construction, the project set records both for the largest public contract in the state awarded to a minority-owned company as a prime contractor and the percentage of small emerging businesses and women-, minority- and service-disabled veteran-owned businesses awarded contracts on a public project.
"It sets the bar and the standards higher for other agencies."
The renovation, which began in fall 2018, was broken into three phases. The first and second phases focused on new carpeting, wall treatments and signage featuring color schemes and materials that pay tribute to the elements of nature that define Oregon. The final phase focused on the Oregon Ballroom, named in honor of former Portland Mayor Bud Clark, and an associated pre-event area. The ballroom features state-of-the-art acoustics and lighting as well as a ceiling treatment designed to call to mind a forest canopy. The pre-event space also features a unique ceiling treatment – a topographical representation of the Cascade Mountain range.
LMN Architects of Seattle handled design duties for the interior renovation. Portland's Mayer/Reed was responsible for the exterior design. While Colas served as the overall lead contractor, exterior renovation work that included a new entry canopy and a revamped north plaza outfitted with an amphitheater-like area was handled by Raimore.
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