Northwestern University has hired Turner Construction and Walsh Construction as construction manager for the $800-million redevelopment of the school's 97-year-old football stadium, renamed in the 1990s as Ryan Field, and located in Evanston, Ill. For the stadium's subcontracts, Turner-Walsh has a target of 35% local, minority- and woman-owned businesses, with priority given to businesses and individuals located in Evanston. 

“Northwestern remains committed to creating economic opportunities for minority-owned, woman-owned and local Evanston businesses,” Luke Figora, vice president of operations for Northwestern University, said in a statement. “We want to enable Turner-Walsh to start the efforts they’ve committed to, while we work through the final stages of approval with the city.”

The university plans to submit its planned development application to the city in April. Hearings  at the Land Use Commission and City Council would follow.

The university and Turner-Walsh will host an outreach session for potential subs on April 5 on campus in Evanston to introduce the project’s leadership team, including representatives from Turner-Walsh who will address opportunities for local contractors and businesses.

Turner-Walsh will provide information on bidding and timelines, workforce training and planning and other strategies it will use to partner with the local business community, university officials said in a press release. Neither Walsh nor Turner responded to requests for comment.

While she didn’t comment on the project overall, Eleanor Revelle, who represents Evanston’s 7th Ward, said minority and local representation on the stadium project is a big concern for the community. Regarding the April 5th meeting, she said, “It sounds like they are reaching out to the community, which is really good.” 

The project, designed by HNTB, as the lead architect, and Perkins & Will as associate design architect, includes demolition of the 47,000-seat field and construction of a multipurpose facility with 35,000 seats for football, concerts and other events. A canopy over three seating decks is designed to focus light onto the field, rather than on nearby residential areas. The new venue would also have corporate suites and be built to Universal Design standards for accessibility and inclusivity. There would also be a public green space.  

Financing includes a $480-million donation from alumni Patrick Ryan and Shirley Ryan, both for the project and university research. The contribution, which is the largest in the university's history, pushed the university's fundraising campaign over the $6 billion mark.

Previously called Dyche Stadium, the facility was rehabilitated more than 25 years ago. It was recently renamed in honor of Patrick Ryan, who founded AON Corp.  

The city of Evanston estimates the rebuild will generate 2,900 jobs.