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Cost of expanding state convention center in Seattle grows to $1.6 billion

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SEATTLE (AP) — The cost of expanding the Washington State Convention Center in downtown Seattle has grown to $1.6 billion, an increase of $200 million.

The Seattle Times reports (http://goo.gl/yZveYc) the convention center has also hired a new team of contractors to replace those it fired in March over cost concerns.

Clark Construction of Maryland and Lease Crutcher Lewis of Seattle will take over the project, which will double the center’s space across a full block. Construction is expected to begin in summer 2017.

Skanska and Hunt Construction Group were dismissed in March over cost concerns. The convention center agreed in April to pay those firms $7.8 million to settle a lawsuit filed over the dismissal, allowing officials to select new contractors.

Project managers say the cost increase is largely due to higher costs of buying steel and properties need to build on.