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Wisconsin Center Begins Subcontractor Bidding Process for $420M Expansion Construction

MILWAUKEE, WI — The Wisconsin Center District (WCD), along with its owner’s representative, CAA ICON, and construction firm partners Gilbane Building Company and C.D. Smith Construction, who have formed a joint venture as Gilbane | Smith Wisconsin Center Expansion (Gilbane | Smith), are opening the subcontractor bidding process for its $420-million convention center expansion.

“Much of the rationale for propelling the expansion forward in the midst of a pandemic is the economic boost that a construction project of this scope will provide for Milwaukee,” said Marty Brooks, President and CEO of the WCD. “We anticipate 2,300 on- and off-site construction related jobs and over $100 million in total construction wages. Combined with our pledge to a 40 percent Residential Preference Program, the Wisconsin Center expansion will drive Milwaukee into a bright post-COVID future.”

Information sessions about early sitework will take place in early May, pre-bid sessions and a matching forum will be hosted in late May, and bids will be due in June. During the information sessions, companies that have registered will receive information about the process for submitting bid proposals, standard terms and conditions related to the project, basic construction information, and a preliminary construction schedule.

“The anticipation of this project is building with every passing day, and the bidding process only adds to the excitement as we begin to engage more of the Milwaukee community members and workers,” said Adam Jelen, Gilbane | Smith Principal in Charge and Executive Vice President. “I encourage any construction-related companies that are interested in partnering with us on this project to visit buildingmore.com to learn more about submitting a bid.”

As part of the expansion project, which will double the size of the convention center, the WCD has committed to contracting with at least 25 percent of minority-owned businesses, five percent of women-owned businesses, and one percent of disabled veteran-owned businesses. The organization has also pledged that at least 40 percent of on-site construction labor hours will be performed by trade workers residing in the city and/or certified through the city as part of its Residential Preference Program.

The project is expected to create 1,150 new on-site construction jobs and 1,150 off-site construction jobs during the build, plus 2,300 FTE jobs upon completion. Once finished, the expansion will allow the WCD to host multiple events simultaneously and offer flexible space arrangements to meet various clients’ needs. The expansion is expected to be completed and open for business in Q1 2024.

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