ACEC Names Denver Water Complex Nation’s Best Engineering Project of 2021

The Denver Water Operations Redevelopment project recently won the 2021 Grand Conceptor Award from the American Council of Engineering Cos. as the nation’s most outstanding engineering project. The project redeveloped Denver Water’s 35-acre water operations plant and created a 186,000-sq-ft, LEED Platinum, net-zero energy administration building; a 7,400-sq-ft, LEED Gold wellness building; a 15,400-sq-ft, LEED Gold building renovation; and a 155,000-sq-ft parking structure at the site.

Big-D Begins Work On Joint College Campus in Herriman 

Big-D Construction has been selected as the contractor for the new Juniper Building on the campus in Herriman, a joint $57-million project of Salt Lake Community College and the University of Utah. The project broke ground on July 15 and is slated to open in 2023. The new campus will serve more than 2,000 students in its first year and nearly 7,000 by 2025 in the fast-growing cities of Herriman, Riverton, Bluffdale and Draper. Students can earn an associate’s degree from SLCC and then go on to get a bachelor’s degree from the University of Utah at the same location.

Big-D also recently completed construction of the new Cache County Children’s Justice Center in Logan, a state-of-the-art facility that’s nearly five times larger than the previous building. The new facility offers interview rooms, a medical wing and observation spaces.

Big-D also recently completed work at the Orem Family Fitness Center, including a 130,000-sq-ft addition that features a multitude of amenities, including an elevated running track, racquetball courts, an indoor swimming facility, a bouldering wall and new locker rooms. While the majority of the project was a 96,000-sq-ft addition, roughly 32,000 sq ft of the existing facility underwent a significant remodel.


Snowbird Expands Sustainability With New Wheeler Energy System

Wheeler Power Systems, a division of Wheeler Machinery Co., commissioned a new cogeneration system to provide power and heat for Snowbird in  Utah. The high-efficiency system allows the resort to independently meet up to 100% of its power needs. The 5.3-MW facility features three synchronized and parallel Cat gas-generator sets, including two 2500-kW Cat G3520H units as well as a single 1515-kW Cat G3512H generator set. The system also includes new switchgear, high-efficiency boilers, heat exchangers, pumps, control valves and electronic controls. 

Saunders Norwood

Saunders Norwood Construction LLC will be headquartered at the Plaza of the Rockies in downtown Colorado Springs. The firm has started work for a renovation to the fitness center in the office tower.
Image courtesy of Norwood Development Company

Saunders, Norwood Form New Construction Firm

Saunders Construction and Norwood Development Group have formed a construction company focused on building within the Pikes Peak region of Colorado. The partnership and resulting company—Saunders Norwood Construction—is headquartered in Colorado Springs. SNC will offer construction management, general contracting and design-build services for a broad portfolio of project types. Veteran Saunders leader Ryan Balakas was tapped to serve as SNC’s general manager. The SNC offices are located at Plaza of the Rockies, 111 S. Tejon Street, Ste. 200, Colorado Springs.


Wyoming Launches Coal-to-Product Innovation Center in Carbon Valley 

Officials recently broke ground on the Wyoming Innovation Center (WyIC), a 5,500-sq-ft coal commercialization facility in Gillette, Wyo. Owned by Energy Capital Economic Development, the 9.5-acre site, located in northeast Wyoming’s coal-rich Carbon Valley region, will be home to companies and researchers developing commodities like asphalt, graphene, graphite, agricultural char, carbon fiber and more—all of them using coal and coal byproducts. The WyIC will feature two buildings and seven demonstration sites for pilot plants, private companies and researchers to advance coal-to-product and rare-earth element processes. 


ITD’s Bond Refinancing Shaves $15.5M From Debt 

Since the Idaho Transportation Dept. ventured into the world of Grant Anticipation Revenue Vehicle (GARVEE) bonding more than 15 years ago, the department has sought ways to refinance and restructure that debt. The recent refinancing of $61 million of GARVEE series 2011A bonds at 1.1% resulted in a $15.5 million savings, ITD says. The refinancing took place at the same time as $159 million in new bonds were issued for project construction and financed at an interest rate of 2.33%. GARVEE bonding has allowed the agency to build expansion projects the public needs now rather than waiting decades for more traditional funding methods.


NREL Chooses Mortenson to Build Its RAIL Facility

The Dept. of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has chosen Mortenson to build a new research lab on the South Table Mountain Campus in Golden, Colo. 

The 15,700-sq-ft Research and Innovation Laboratory (RAIL) will provide multipurpose lab space for cross-disciplinary research at the intersection of chemistry, materials science, bioscience and engineering in support of a breadth of energy efficiency and renewable-energy research areas, including 5,500 sq ft of flexible lab space. The project is expected to break ground in September.


Peña Boulevard Upgrades Achieve a Major Milestone 

All five lanes of inbound Peña Boulevard between Jackson Gap Street and the Jeppesen Terminal recently opened, improving the drive into Denver International Airport. Completing this section of Peña Boulevard, which includes new directional signage, is a significant milestone on the safety and operational improvement project. Inbound Peña Boulevard now has three through lanes as well as two dedicated travel lanes from the Jackson Gap Street on-ramp. These acceleration-deceleration lanes will help improve safety and traffic flow. 


Brown and Caldwell To Lead Boulder WTF Improvements

The city of Boulder has engaged Brown and Caldwell to provide professional engineering and design services at the city’s Betasso Water Treatment Facility (BWTF) to address aging infrastructure and enhance disinfection and corrosion control systems.

Built in 1964 and significantly renovated in 2018, the BWTF is Boulder’s primary drinking water treatment facility, with a capacity of 40 million gallons a day. The conventional surface water treatment plant is located in the foothills west of Boulder. It treats water from North Boulder Creek and Barker Reservoir.

“Data shows achievement gaps for students of color, women and firstgeneration students in engineering programs. ENpower helps close that gap.”
—Ellie Gerber, Marketing, Terracon

Terracon Foundation Awards Grant to CSU

The Terracon Foundation has awarded a $10,000 university grant to Colorado State University to help fund its ENpower Bridge and Peer Mentoring Program, which supports engineering students from underrepresented backgrounds in the transition to college.

CSU offers more than 70 undergraduate majors as well as graduate programs, with five of its eight colleges offering STEM-focused majors. The goal of its ENpower program is to increase retention and graduation rates for historically excluded students in engineering by providing early support.