WSU News

Wine Science Center at Tri-Cities seeks design-build proposals

 
Photos show the October site dedication for the wine center.
 
 
RICHLAND, Wash. – The Wine Science Center Development Authority is seeking design-build proposals for construction of a research and teaching facility at Washington State University Tri-Cities in Richland.
 
The State of Washington’s Project Review Committee approved use of the design-build contract method for the project. The request for qualifications (RFQ) is expected to be issued on or about Jan. 3, with statements of qualification due on or about Jan. 23.
 
In this unique partnership, the development authority is managed by the City of Richland, the land is donated by the Port of Benton and fundraising is led by WSU. FLAD Architects and Meier Engineering serve as program architect, and Hill International is the project management firm. The University of California Davis, which constructed its research winery two years ago, is an advisor on the programming team.
 
The Wine Science Center is to be a LEED-certified (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) facility that includes state-of-the-art laboratories, a research and teaching winery, a regional and international wine library, classrooms and conference rooms – all connecting WSU’s viticulture and enology faculty and students with industry and research partners worldwide.
 
The site is at the corner of George Washington Way and University Drive in Richland.
 
Based on the RFQs, short-listed firms will be notified by Feb. 5, followed by release of the request for proposal (RFP) documents. The RFP is expected to have a significant design component, so it will include an appropriate honorarium.
 
“Every world-renowned wine region has a research university partnering in its success. In Washington, that’s Washington State University,” said Ted Baseler, president and CEO of Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, a WSU regent and chair of the WSU Campaign for Wine.
 
The research and teaching conducted at the center will be specific to the challenges and opportunities faced by grape growers and winemakers in the Pacific Northwest. Washington’s grape and wine industry aims to triple its economic impact — already at $8.6 billion — by 2020.
 
More than $17 million has been pledged in the past two years for the Wine Science Center project, including contributions from the Washington State Wine Commission for $7.4 million through industry assessments, the state of Washington’s $5 million Legislative grant toward construction, a U.S. Economic Development Administration grant of $2.06 million for equipment, numerous corporate and private commitments, plus in-kind donations of equipment and professional services.
 
Fundraising for the center is in the final stages, with the intent of breaking ground in fall 2013. About $4 million is needed by June for construction and startup equipment, followed by a final $2 million for research equipment.
 
Roger Boulton, the UC Davis professor behind the recently constructed Mondavi Research Winery, serves as an advisor on the programming team.
 
Find more details on the project and the RFQ on the City of Richland’s website, http://www.ci.richland.wa.us/winesciencecenter.
 
WSU has been involved in wine-related research since the 1930s. It is the only university in the Pacific Northwest offering bachelor’s and graduate degrees in viticulture and enology, plus a wine business management program and a distance education program to earn a professional certificate. Thomas Henick-Kling joined WSU in 2009 as director of the Viticulture and Enology Program, which has more than 30 faculty members in the Tri-Cities, Prosser and Pullman.
 
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Contacts:
Gary Ballew, Wine Science Center Development Authority, City of Richland, Economic Development Manager, 509-942-7763, gballew@ci.richland.wa.us
MelissaO’Neil Perdue, WSU Tri-Cities, Marketing and Communications Manager, 509-372-7319, cell/text 509-727-3094, moneil@tricity.wsu.edu