Foxconn Technology Group announced earlier this month that it has chosen Mortenson to serve as construction manager for two new facilities at the Taiwanese electronics company's $10 billion LCD manufacturing complex in Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin. The two projects slated for construction at the Wisconn Valley Science and Technology Park are a Smart Manufacturing Center and a High-Performance Computing Data Center.
The two new projects are intended to support smart manufacturing at the Foxconn complex and will include a 260,000-square-foot factory for server rack components. Foxconn has not yet determined a final design for the data center, which the company said will "meet the needs of the company, as well as the needs of business, academic and community partners."
Construction of the new manufacturing center and data center will add to the facilities already either completed or underway at the technology park — the 1,000,000-square-foot Gen 6 Fab manufacturing plant, a 120,000-square-foot multipurpose building and a power substation.
Mortenson is headquartered in Minneapolis, but the company will manage the projects from its Milwaukee regional office. The company recently issued an Invitation to Bid for subcontractors and vendors interested in working on the core and shell portion of the manufacturing center. Mortenson said it is seeking bids for the following:
- Site utilities
- Site concrete
- Concrete reinforcing materials
- Concrete reinforcing install
- SOG concrete
- Metal panels
- Overhead doors
- Exterior studs, sheathing and air barrier
- Loading dock equipment
- Temporary fencing
- Testing services
- Concrete Redi-Mix materials
Those interested in submitting bids can register with Mortenson and will receive an official bid invitation via email. All prospects must first execute a nondisclosure agreement as a precondition of submitting a proposal.
In Foxconn's announcement, Jeff Gruhn, general manager for Mortenson’s Wisconsin operations, said that the general contractor will continue the project's Wisconsin First approach to hiring, which gives preference to those companies located in the state. Earlier this year, Foxconn said it had handed out 95% of contracted work to Wisconsin businesses.
Foxconn was on the receiving end of $3 billion of potential tax credits plus additional financial help for land and infrastructure costs, a controversial deal backed by former Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and supported publicly by President Donald Trump. However, Foxconn has not yet earned any of those credits because it hasn't met the full-time job creation requirements attached to them. Temporary in nature, construction jobs don't count toward those goals.
But the storm around Foxconn and the Wisconn project don't stop at tax credits.
Last year, Foxconn inked a deal with the University of Wisconsin–Madison, pledging $100 million for a new research campus — to be built by 2020 — and a new facility at the university's College of Engineering. So far, according to Inside Higher Ed, the university has received only $700,000 from Foxconn toward the initiative. The manufacturer promised the money within five years, and university officials said there were no financial milestones included in the agreement. However, some are speculating that the deal was put in place in order to boost public and political support for Foxconn's projects in the state.
Wisconsin has also given Foxconn the right to divert up to 7 million gallons of water a day from Lake Michigan, a need that some have questioned since the company scaled back the size of its planned development in Wisconsin, according to The Washington Post. Foxconn's deal with the state's Department of Natural Resources will see only about half of the water returned to the Great Lakes watershed, reportedly an unusually generous concession.