The Spark at Washington State University

2018 | Educational Facilities | Best in Process – Best Value | Best in Teaming | National Award of Merit

Design-Build Team Summary

Challenge Design-Build Project Delivery Addressed

During the design and validation period of the Digital Classroom project, WSU released new construction standards that revised the standards to which Clark/ZGF’s contract and design were based. The team worked with stakeholders to revise the design to meet the new construction, facilities and operations standards.

And, during the design process, a site investigation revealed an abundance of subterranean basalt bedrock. The team designed around the rock to avoid the cost of blasting it. In addition, the team designed systems to support the building structure, reducing system cost, meeting differential settlement criteria, eliminating rebar protrusions into working spaces and almost halving the deep foundations installation time.


Clark Construction, ZGF Architects and WSU turned an academic facility’s construction into a journey that furthered the university’s desire for a state-of-the-art learning center. The team on this $43 million project overcame every single challenge in its construction, including a tight budget, updated university construction standards, a restricted site and rapidly evolving technology market conditions. The team transformed these challenges into opportunities with collaboration and vertical coordination among all parties, delivering the project to the client early and under budget. Clark’s management practices made a positive impact in Pullman, setting the benchmark for how a contractor should support their community.

Design-Build Team

Client/Owner: Washington State University
Design-Builder, Project Manager, General Contractor: Clark Construction Group
Architect: ZGF Architects
Engineer: AEI
Specialty Contractor: Apollo
Specialty Consultant: Vantage Technology Consulting Group
Duration of Construction: 18 months
Project Cost: $43,000,000