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Vikings stadium: The build

Reporter Richard Meryhew updates you on the construction of the new Minnesota Vikings stadium in downtown Minneapolis.

Jan. 17, 2014: Kelm-Helgen gets a raise

Many interesting tidbits came out of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority meeting on Friday.

Among them: Chairwoman Michele Kelm-Helgen received a $25,000 raise, increasing her salary to $127,000. Members of the authority voted unanimously on the move, saying Kelm-Helgen has more than earned the pay increase.

In addition, Allen Troshinsky, director of operations for stadium general contractor Mortenson Construction, said to date, roughly 160,000 cubic yards of dirt have been removed from the eastern side of the Metrodome site. All told, about 850,000 cubic yards of dirt will be removed from the site.

Troshinsky said the polar vortex hasn't slowed construction -- so far seven out of 330 piers for the foundation have been drilled. And the first of five cranes will be erected next week. Once the Dome is deflated, the true demolition of the building will begin.

Just 75 people have been on-site, so far, but that number will swell to about 300 in the next several months, he said.

All told, $400 million of the work has been awarded out of the $763 million construction project. Of the $400 million, $100 million came from minority or women-owned businesses, he said, noting the stadium is indeed on schedule.

First sheet of glass ready to go up on new Vikings stadium

The first sheet of glass is on-site and ready to go up on the Minnesota Vikings stadium.

Eventually, the project will be a $1 billion soaring glass structure. The bolting on of the glass is yet another sign of the swift progression on the building funded by the Vikings, state and city taxpayers.

Each glass sheet is 5 feet by 9 feet and some 10,000 sheets will form the exterior skin of the stadium. The glass started rolling off the manufacturing lines at Viracon's Owatonna facility last month.

A 30-person crew from Plymouth-based InterClad will bolt the glass onto the stadium. The first panes are going up on the 11th Street side of the stadium.

The glass will be transparent, not the bird-safe etched product that waterfowl advocates sought.  Maplewood-based 3M is still researching a transparent film that might be applied to the glass after construction, according to Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority (MSFA) chairwoman Michele Kelm-Helgen on Wednesday.

Bird protesters have regularly attended meetings of the MSFA to plead for bird-safe glass on the building. The advocates say the building could become a death-trap during the migration season.

But the MSFA and Vikings say the stadium's design aims to be transparent and provide an outdoor-feel in the enclosed space.The structure is expected to be fully enclosed by November and is set to open in July 2016.

Viracon, whose parent company is Bloomington-based Apogee Enterprises Inc., made the glass used on One World Trade Center. The company built its reputation on the mirrored, colored and energy-efficient glass covering skyscrapers, the University of Minnesota’s TCF Bank Stadium and the San Francisco 49ers’ stadium.

The new Vikings stadium will have seven interior levels and two full-circle concourses with views of the field.

The site will play host to the 2018 Super Bowl. The next MSFA meeting is set for March 27.

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