Vikings stadium engineering firms reflect diversity

  • Article by: DEE DEPASS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 18, 2013 - 8:25 PM

Most firms awarded bids for Vikings stadium work are owned by women and minorities.

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Architect HKS Inc. designed these preliminary schematics of a new Vikings stadium.

More than a dozen women- and minority-owned engineering firms won bids to work on the new Vikings stadium under architect HKS Sports & Entertainment, the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority announced Friday.

The contracts are worth an estimated $5 million and will include civil engineering, landscape and traffic flow design work, electrical, mechanical and other services for the new $975 million stadium. The authority is responsible for the design and construction of the new stadium.

In all, 19 firms were announced Friday, including two companies not owned by minorities or women. All the firms are based in Minnesota.

In announcing the winners Friday, authority chairwoman Michele Kelm-Helgen said the authority and HKS thought it was important to include local and minority businesses from around the Twin Cities in the stadium project. Friday's announcement fulfills that goal and marks the first time minority business goals were created for the architectural end of a public project. Usually, such goals are reserved for construction contracts, she said during an interview.

"While not required by the stadium legislation, the MSFA believed that it was important to set a targeted business goal in the design services contract to involve 11 percent of women-owned and 8 percent-minority owned firms in the planning and design of the new multipurpose stadium," Kelm-Helgen said. "When the Legislature passed the new stadium legislation, a major goal was to provide opportunities to Minnesota companies."

The effort was heightened by the desire to keep jobs local and to support engineering and design firms, many of which were hurt by the recession, said Steve Maki, the authority's facilities director. "Certainly, this is a double win of sorts, because it's not only Minnesota firms getting the contracts, but also minority- and women-owned firms."

Of the 19 bids chosen by HKS and approved by the authority, Eden Prairie civil engineering firm EVS Inc. accounted for eight of the firms. Companies on the EVS team include MFRA of Plymouth; Pierce Pini of Blaine; HTPO of Eden Prairie; and Greenway Consulting of St. Paul, HZ United of Plymouth; and Progressive Consulting Engineers of Minneapolis. Short, Elliott, Hendrickson Inc. of Minnetonka is a seventh EVS team member. It is not a minority- or women-owned firm. Their combined contract is worth $820,000.

"EVS is very excited to work with the MSFA, Vikings and HKS," said EVS President Dennis Kim. "As engineers and avid Vikings fans, this is truly a dream come true for our team of diverse businesses working on this project. We thought it was important to get as many MBEs [minority-business enterprises] involved as we could." The project will help retain a lot of jobs in the Twin Cities, he said.

EVS, which has 30 employees, will act as the project manager for the civil engineering and site layout portion of the project.

Other contractors the Authority named to HKS' stadium team on Friday include: the Vikings Stadium Consortium; Studio Hive; Studio Five Architects; Lawal, Scott Erickson Architects; Palanisami & Associates of Eden Prairie and Chase Engineering of New Prague.

The mechanical, electrical and plumbing work will be done by Coastwise Fireguard of Webster; Elert & Associates of Stillwater; TMC of Shorewood; M-P Consultants of Minneapolis.

Dee DePass • 612-673-7725

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