- The Washington Times - Friday, August 26, 2005

ASSOCIATED PRESS

A $23.2 million contract for initial work on a stadium for the Washington Nationals will go to a joint venture of three firms.

The D.C. Sports & Entertainment Commission announced yesterday its board of directors approved plans to hire the consortium of Clark Construction, Hunt Construction Group and Smoot Construction.

The commission said the trio has worked on 15 other ballparks for Major League Baseball, including Oriole Park at Camden Yards and the new Busch Stadium, which will open next spring in St. Louis. Ten of those had HOK Sport as the architect. HOK is part of a separate architectural joint venture in the Washington stadium.

Clark’s portfolio also includes the Redskins’ FedEx Field, the Byrd Stadium expansion in College Park and MCI Center, which it worked on with Smoot.



Earlier this week, commission chief executive officer Allen Lew recommended hiring the partnership. Lew said yesterday he agreed with an evaluation committee’s finding that the Clark-Hunt-Smoot team “offers the strongest, most experienced team.”

Although the D.C. Council must approve the contract, the commission expects groundbreaking along the Anacostia River waterfront to take place early next year. The stadium, initially estimated at $279 million in construction costs and $535 million in overall costs, is supposed to be ready for the 2008 season.

“This is going to be a demanding effort to build an exceptional facility within a very tight schedule,” Lew said.

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