- Foxconn Technology Group and general contractor M+W Group and Gilbane have awarded the first $14 million in vertical construction contracts for Foxconn's $10 billion LCD factory campus at the Wisconn Valley Science and Technology Park in Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin, to eight prime subcontractors, according to Wisconsin Business News. There have been $100 million of contracts issued for utilities and other site work.
- All of the firms are either based in Wisconsin or have a presence there. The contractors selected to participate are Spancrete, Inc. (precast); Superior Masonry Builders (concrete); Pieper Electric (electric); Total Mechanical (mechanical, plumbing and fire protection); Merrill Steel (structural steel and miscellaneous metals); Bright View Landscape Development (landscaping) and Otis Elevator Co. (elevators). The Boldt Co., based in Appleton, Wisconsin, will also be performing architectural work, according to Fox 11 News. The 120,000-square-foot multipurpose building will serve as construction offices during the course of the campus buildout, as well as research and development space for Foxconn.
- Foundation work on the building is scheduled to begin in August, with completion slated for late 2018 or early 2019. Project officials are scheduled to host President Donald Trump at an official groundbreaking ceremony on June 28.
In addition to this initial building, the first phase of construction will also include a 1.5-million-square-foot television assembly building, an LCD screen glass facility, utility plants, offices and parking areas.
The Foxconn facility has also been the driving force behind a more than $630 million program of infrastructure improvements that will be carried out by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. The department will split the work between widening a section of Interstate 94 ($500 million) and making infrastructure improvements around the Foxconn site ($134 million). A portion of that outlay, $252 million, is in addition to the $3 billion of tax incentives granted to Foxconn in exchange for choosing Wisconsin as the location for its new manufacturing facilities, but the state will apply for federal funds to help recoup that expense.
Despite the potential for an economic boon, there are some state and local residents who hold a negative view of the project, so Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's office issued an updated fact-check this week intended to clear up inaccuracies. One of the misconceptions addressed in Walker's press release was that Wisconsin outbid all the other states vying for Foxconn's business as far as incentives. The governor's office said this is not true and that Foxconn selected the state based on its quality workforce, many of which have experience in the manufacturing sector.
Another myth, according to Walker's office, is that the return on investment for taxpayers will not meet the value of the massive benefits package. According to the governor, the Foxconn project will bring $18 in economic benefits for every $1 spent on incentives, which translates to $51 billion for the state during a 15-year period.