The 2017 Best Projects awards in the Mountain States featured 106 entries, the most in the competition’s 10-year history, and it was led by more public-sector work than in years past. Projects were judged on design and construction quality, contribution to the community and the industry and how they overcame unusual challenges through teamwork and innovation.

To be eligible, projects had to be in any of the seven states comprising the Mountain States region: Utah, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado and North Dakota and South Dakota. Projects with a construction-related fatality on the jobsite were not allowed to enter.

This year’s Best Projects judges were: Rachel Attebery, business technology analyst, Black & Veatch; Lindsay Auble, former process engineer for AECOM; Rhiannon Cooper, senior construction engineer, AECOM; David Koel, design principal, CTA Architects Engineers; Jered Minter, principal and partner, Bennett Wagner & Grody; Derek Oliver, vice president, Haselden Construction; Tricia Pilny, business development, R&O Construction; Brit Probst, principal, Davis Partnership Architects; and Joanna Slominski, construction executive, Mortenson.

All the 2017 safety awards judges were veterans from previous years’ panels: John Hymel, principal, Sentinel Safety Consultants; Matt Ogle, safety director, JE Dunn Construction; Tim Batz, risk control team leader, IMA Inc.; and Rick Zellen, senior risk engineer, Zurich North America.

In addition to the category winners, judges chose by consensus one project from the Colorado side and one from the Intermountain area to stand as the Projects of the Year—entries that clearly outdistanced other winners. This year, those honors went to the Sanford Medical Center in Fargo, the first-ever big winner from North Dakota, and the Beverley Taylor Sorenson Center for the Arts in Cedar City, Utah.

Other Project of the Year finalists, honored herein as Judges’ Special Recognitions, included, on the Colorado side: Pioneer Crossing Restaurant on Peak 7, Breckenridge, Colo., and the Polsinelli office tenant improvement, Denver. For the Intermountain area, they were 111 Main, Salt Lake City, and Three Peaks Solar, Cedar City, Utah.