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Olympic Museum's creators chosen 

GE Johnson of Colorado Springs will be the general contractor for the Olympic Museum and Hall of Fame, and represents the only local firm chosen for the project, museum officials announced Monday at Penrose House.

Johnson has projects worth $7 billion in 14 states, but the firm's owner, Jim Johnson, says this will be the biggest museum project he's ever built. His firm will employ up to 150 people during construction, he said.

The architect of record is Anderson Mason Dale of Denver. Diller Scofidio + Renfro, New York, will be the design architects, charged with making the project "iconic." Gallagher & Associates, Washington, D.C., will design the exhibits, and Pacific Studio of Portland, Oregon, will fabricate them.

The announcement came just a short time after the museum's chief executive, Dick Celeste (pictured left, with Anderson Mason Dale's Andrew Nielsen), announced a $10 million gift from El Pomar Foundation and a donation of 21/2 acres near Vermijo Avenue and Sierra Madre Street by Nor'wood Development Group.

Asked why local firms weren't hired for architecture and design, Celeste said the goal of a panel composed of local architects, Olympic Museum board members and local civic leaders was to choose those "who we think can do the best job." He said that much of the work will be performed locally, leading to jobs. The museum, when completed, will employ up to 80 people.

The museum is one of four projects in the City for Champions tourism venture, which has been awarded $120.5 million over 30 years in state sales tax money. It will receive roughly $20 million from that pot.

Celeste says its board wants to have $45 million to $50 million in commitments before breaking ground and hopes to open the museum in late 2017 or early 2018.

Here's a look at past projects by the construction team.

Anderson Mason Dale: University of Colorado at Colorado Springs Lane Center; El Paso County courthouse; Gaylord Cornerstone Arts Center at Colorado College.

Diller Scofidio + Renfro: redevelopment of Lincoln Center and expansion of the Museum of Modern Art, both in New York City; the Museum of Image and Sound in Rio de Janeiro.

Gallagher: White House Visitors Center and LBJ Presidential Library.

Pacific Studio: College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta and Museum of Organized Crime in Las Vegas.

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