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WASHINGTON, DC-The Architect of the Capitol–the government entity responsible for the operation and preservation of the US Capitol Complex– has settled on the $100 million bid by Dallas, TX-based Centex Construction Company’s mid-Atlantic office to serve as general contractor for Sequence No. 1 of the US Capitol Visitor Center. This first facet of the massive two-phase construction process entails demolition, excavation and the building of concrete and steel portions of the structure, and the creation of a service tunnel. Ultimately the visitor center will consist of an underground, three-level, 580,000 structure with two theaters, an auditorium, gift shops, an eating area, and exhibit and storage space.

“The Capitol has continually evolved for more than 200 years to meet the needs of Congress as the nation has grown,” AOC’s Alan M. Hantman, says of the project. “This next increment of growth will meet the needs of the millions of visitors who come to the Capitol each year and have not been properly accommodated in the past.” Centex won the contract via a competitive selection process, beating out three other final bids.

The AOC first issued its request for proposals for this construction phase in December 2001 at which point it estimated this portion of the construction would cost $40 to $55 million. “It was advertised as a best value procurement project and that is the type of project we’re interested in pursuing,” Centex project executive Bob Frew tells GlobeSt.com. “Our company also likes this type of project in that it’s large and it’s challenging.” Centex is no stranger to large-scale government construction endeavors. The company is currently working on the $100 million E. Barrett Prettyman Courthouse Annex and Renovation project, and it has also been awarded the $32 million F-22 Facilities project at Hampton, VA’s Langley Air Force Base.

Centex is scheduled to complete Sequence No. 1 in early 2004, and will bring in a series of subcontractors to help complete the project. “We’ve awarded about 90% of the subcontracts at this point,” Frew notes. The construction contract for Sequence No. 2–interior build-out, electrical, mechanical and plumbing system installation, and completion of the aboveground plaza–has yet to be awarded. The entire project is scheduled for completion in 2005 and will cost an estimated $350 million.

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