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GREELEY, CO-The Pentagon has awarded an 11-year, $758 million contract to Hensel Phelps Construction Co. to renovate most of the building. The $145-million contract to rebuild portions of “Wedge 1″ that was damaged in the Sept. 11 terrorist attack goes to London-based AMEC.

AMEC was about a month or less away from completing a renovation of Wedge 1 when the terrorists flew a commercial jet into the world’s largest office building.

But Jerry Morgensen, president of Hensel Phelps, says his company will do whatever it can to help repair the damaged building, in addition to renovating Wedges 2 through 5. The Pentagon is divided into five wedges, each which almost is a separate building. Each wedge has almost 1 million sf, says Lee Evey, Pentagon renovation program manager.

Evey, speaking at a press conference in Washington, DC, says that it considered hiring Hensel Phelps for the entire building, but decided that AMEC knows more about Wedge 1 than any other company in the world.

Evey emphasizes if the renovation hadn’t been done, the damage from the attack likely would have been much worse. The renovation included adding steel beam, two-inch thick windows and Kevlar, the material used in bulletproof vests.

The strength of the building slowed the plane, minimizing the damage. While the loss of lives was unfortunate, he says that it would have been much worse. About 23,000 people work in the Pentagon.

He notes that two of his men were directly above the jet and they were able to crawl from office to office, helping rescue several people.

Morgensen says two or three people from Hensel Phelps were in Wedge 1 when the attack occurred, and they also escaped unharmed. Several more Hensel Phelps employees were in other parts of the building, he says.

Morgensen says he’s not sure if the Pentagon will want to strengthen the building even more, in light of the attacks.

The contract has a potential value up to $758 million in today’s dollars, but it will be adjusted for inflation.

Evey says the AMEC deal was a traditional ”bid-build” job, while Hensel Phelps is providing a ”design build” team including an engineering and architectural firm. Hensel Phelps beat out two competitors for the job. Evey says Hensel Phelps is less costly for the government.

For example, the Pentagon provided AMEC with 3,500 pages of drawings for Wedge I, while Hensel Phelps gave it a 16-page document summarizing what it would do for Wedges 2-5.

“Of course, we’ll be amassing huge documents ourselves,” Morgensen tells GlobeSt.com. “It’s less work for the Pentagon and more work for us.”

In addition to Hensel Phelps, the design-build team includes Shalom Baranes Associates, HDR Architecture, MC Dean, Studio Architecture and Southland Industries.

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