PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - One of the original subcontractors of the Phoenix Suns Arena in downtown Phoenix came across the blueprints for the building they created in 1990. "I was the original estimator on the America West Arena for its initial project," said Rich Morin. "This project was dedicated solely for basketball. Built, designed, created for basketball."
Morin is now retired from Sun Valley Masonry. He found the blueprints and other Suns memorabilia from the early 1990s in a shed at his house.
"This was my baby. This was my premiere project. It's the biggest project I ever did with Sun Valley," Morin explained. "It was a real challenge, a real challenge. And I was just so glad it all worked out for everyone concerned. I'd go down and walk that arena every week. Every Friday, I was down there walking the arena. I've been in every inch of it. It's quite, quite, quite the structure. I'm really proud of it."
Morin says he submitted his bid in September 1990 and spent 84 weeks building it through 1992. "It started the rejuvenation of downtown, in my opinion, and brought back life to the intercity," Morin said.
"We're really excited, especially at this point and time, to have the original sets and be able to see them," said Todd Nessler, one of the owners of Sun Valley Masonry & Concrete.
The company opened in 1978. Nessler had just graduated from ASU and Morin was his mentor. "I actually got to walk the site with him and get to understand some of the aspects of it. At the time, there was nothing in the Valley that was of this magnitude but as Rich would always share with me--it's just one wall at a time."
Morin and Nessler say it's exciting to see everyone rallying the Valley outside of something they helped build from the ground up. "It's just wonderful for the whole city, the whole state," Morin said. After the NBA Finals, Sun Valley Masonry will be involved with renovating the arena.