Government Contracting Pipeline
Volume 5, Issue 17Aug. 7, 2013

Funding is available for critical water projects

Mary Scott NabersWater is quickly becoming a precious resource. Many regions of the country have been asked to predict how long they can continue to provide drinking water to residents if the current drought situation continues. At the same time, public officials are struggling with immediate needs to repair and/or replace water infrastructure systems. America's water resource problems, and the costs associated with them, are alarming to say the least.


A recent report released by the American Society of Civil Engineers gave the current state of America's wastewater and drinking water systems a grade of D based on long-neglected infrastructure needs. The nation's drinking-water and wastewater systems are nearing the end of their useful lives.




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Maryland seeks P3 for transit
Four make short list for LaGuardia project
Upcoming education opportunities
Other upcoming opportunities
Who's winning contracts?
Check out our blog
News about P3s
Where are they now?
Opportunity of the week
Calendar of events

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Maryland seeks public-private partnership for transit project


O'Malley says state prepared to invest $400 million in $2.15 billion project

Martin O'Malley Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley this week proposed the state's first public-private partnership (P3) for a transit line. O'Malley announced that the state will invest $400 million in such a line between Montgomery and Prince George's counties, but will seek a private partner to build and operate its Purple Line. The 16-mile light rail line is expected to cost approximately $2.15 billion.


With 21 stations between Bethesda and New Carrollton, the line would connect riders with Metro's Red, Green and Orange lines.


The state is seeking a private partner to design, build, operate and maintain the proposed line. The company would recoup its investment with annual payments from the state through a 30-40-year contract period. And, the state would be protected because standards such as on-time performance, cleanliness and customer service would have to be met by the private partner.


This week's announcement is one of several recent projects resulting from passage of a major transportation funding bill this year. State officials are planning on $900 million of the project's construction costs to be paid by the federal government, although local government and private interests are also expected to help shoulder some of the costs. Officials anticipate that if all goes as planned, construction on the project could start as early as 2015.


Officials say using a public-private partnership allows more choices regarding financing of projects, particularly since governments are facing budget and revenue shortfalls. Although this is the state's first transit P3, Maryland did previously turn to the private sector for investments to expand the Port of Baltimore and redevelop a pair of travel plazas on I-95.


Four teams make short list for LaGuardia terminal project


$82.9 million, 1,100-vehicle parking garage will be part of $2.4 billion project

La Guardia Four teams made up of contractors, financiers and other partner firms have been named to the short list of private-sector firms that will seek to win a contract for a $2.4 billion project to design, build, finance, operate and maintain the La Guardia Airport Central Terminal Building. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has announced that these teams were chosen from 16 that responded to an October request for qualifications.


The four teams making the short list include:

  • Aerostar New York Holdings LLC, New York, which includes Fentress Architects and a joint venture of Hunt and VRH;
  • LaGuardia Gateway Partners, Queens, N.Y., which includes Skanska USA Building Inc., Skanska USA Civil Northeast Inc., Tishman Construction Corp. of New York, Parsons Brinckerhoff, Hellmuth, Obata + Kassabaum PC and Vantage Airport Group Ltd.;
  • LGAlliance, New York, which includes Lend Lease (US) Construction LMB Inc., Turner Construction Co., Gensler Architecture, Design & Planning P.C., Macquarie Capital Group Ltd. and Hochtief AirPort GmbH; and
  • LGA Central Terminal Consortium, which includes STV Inc., Ove Arup & Partners PC and Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates PC.

Although a start date has not yet been set for the Central Terminal Building project, part of the project is expected to be completed by 2017, with full completion in 2019. The entire project completion is expected by 2021. That includes not only the construction of the new terminal, but the razing of the existing terminal and its concourses, garage, Hangar 1 and frontage roads. It also includes building temporary facilities, constructing a central heating and refrigeration plant, utilities for the new facility, hydrant fueling at the project site limits and operating, maintaining and managing the existing terminal and temporary facilities during construction. The project also calls for an $82.9-million, 1,100-car parking garage east of the terminal.


A total of $1.2 billion has been pledged by the Port Authority toward upgrades to build infrastructure for the new terminal, which - at 1.3 million square feet - will be about 40 percent larger than the existing facility.


Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX)

Upcoming education opportunities


New York schools planning $2.3 million in stadium renovations

A $2.3 million renovation of the Waverly Central School District's War Memorial Stadium is on track to begin earlier than anticipated. The renovations previously were announced for 2015, but could be moved up to next year. The project will next be put out for bids. Among the renovations planned are construction of new stairs, repair and reinforcement of the bleachers, projects to ensure Americans with Disabilities Act standards, replacement of the grass field with either new grass or turf. Short-term improvements to improve safety at the stadium to keep it open this season are also under consideration. Those projects could include lighting upgrades, fencing and efforts to make the bleachers less slippery.


Arizona school district bond would pay for technology, transportation

Gail Pletnick Voters in the Dysart Unified School District in Maricopa County, Arizona, will decide an $86.8 million bond issue in November that would lead to new technology purchases, security and safety improvements and facility maintenance projects. All of the projects that would be paid for by the bond proceeds are much-needed, according to Superintendent Dr. Gail Pletnick (pictured). "Dysart has learned to do more with less, but as critical resources completely disappear, it is not possible to do more with nothing," she said. If the bonds are approved, $27.3 million will be used for new technology and instructional equipment. Another $26.8 million will go toward facility maintenance projects. Renovations and security and safety improvements will be allocated $6.1 million, while transportation needs will get $6.6 million. Construction of new schools and land purchases will total $20 million. The school would get a completely new bus fleet if the bond issue passes.


Power authority, university plan project to lead to enhancements

A shared campus initiative should begin this summer as the New York Power Authority (NYPA) is contracting for a $5.5 million project to develop a plan to link the Niagara Hydroelectric Power Plant with neighboring Niagara University. The company chosen for the contract will, over the next two years, create a plan to upgrade and enhance roadways, facilities and parking lots between the plant and the university. Among the projects planned are improved lighting, grading and drainage on the roads and construction of a one-mile bike and hike path to connect NYPA's Power Vista Visitors Center with Reservoir State Park. Three security cameras will be added in the shared parking lots and the entrance to the university will be enhanced. The university and the power authority have worked closely together for more than 50 years. In 2007, NYPA established a $9.5 million capital fund to be used at the university's discretion that established a landscaping development fund worth $1 million. Additionally, some 24 acres of vacant land were transferred to the university.


County approves $30M bond issue for W. Virginia State housing

Melvin Jones Thanks to approval by the Kanawha County (West Virginia) commissioners, a $30 million bond issue for construction of new student housing at West Virginia State University will go before voters. The bond issue would pay for construction of the new dorm and will be repaid through rental fees that students will pay. University officials say adequate and updated housing is needed to replace aging facilities. "We believe that it's absolutely essential we have a facility to accommodate the students of today," said Melvin Jones (pictured), vice president business and finance for the university. Proceeds from a successful bond issue would direct the bond funds to the West Virginia State University Foundation, which will lease the land on which the building will be constructed and build the dorm. Two aging dorms will be razed as part of the process. This will be the first new dorm built on the campus since 1969. Although the bond will be issued by the county, the university and the bond purchasers will be liable for the funds. The new facility will have nearly 300 beds with suite-style construction.


University of Wisconsin-Baraboo looking for partner for dorm

The University of Wisconsin-Baraboo has issued a request for proposals (RFP) for a comprehensive development agreement with a private partner that will plan, design, finance, build and manage a student residence life facility. It marks the second time the university has sought such an agreement for what would be its first residence hall. During the previous solicitation, officials received only one response to their RFP and that response was rejected. Officials note that no tax dollars will be spent on the project since a private partner would finance the project. On-campus housing has not been available since the campus opened in 1968. Officials say that not only will the housing facility allow for enhanced summer programming through the Continuing Education Department, but will also allow the university to offer overnight conferences on campus.


Contracting Opportunities

Other upcoming contracting opportunities


California city seeks architect to design second phase of park

An architectural firm is being sought by the city of West Hollywood, California, to design the second phase of the West Hollywood Park project. The city recently issued a request for proposals for a firm to offer design of park amenities, landscaping, a recreation center with two rooftop swimming pools and a new office. The recreation center is the major piece of the project. It will be approximately 70,000 square feet and have parking, a gym, a competition and recreation swimming pool, locker rooms, office meeting space and a facility for children. A building of about 6,000 square feet will include office and meeting space that connects the parks and recreation building with the recreation center. It will also include a 170,000-square-foot park green space improvement and expansion. The first phase of the project was completed two years ago and included a new library, two parking structures, a park area, basketball courts and a special events area. Proposals are due Aug. 28.


Las Cruces voters approve bonds for two of four proposals

Two of four bond issues garnered the support of Las Cruces voters in a recent referendum. While an issue to upgrade the county fairgrounds was rejected, voters also said no to a proposed tax increase that would have paid for three public safety projects. However, voters did give their approval for $6 million in bonding authority to build a new 911 call center. Voters also passed an $800,000 general obligation bond to complete construction of a facility to house pets confiscated in abuse or hoarding incidences. Neither will raise property taxes.


Syracuse airport gets $4.5 million grant for construction projects

Stephanie Minor A $4.5 million federal grant is headed to the Hancock International Airport in Syracuse to fund construction of a new taxiway and a place for planes to park overnight. Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner (pictured) said the benefits of the project are twofold - it will enhance the regular operations of the airport and also allow the airport to continue to serve as an emergency destination. Because of its location, the airport is often used for flights diverted for emergency reasons. The grant is administered by the Federal Aviation Administration and is also expected to help keep flights in and out of the airport on time.


Federal grant to provide funds for new Montana park entrance

A $10 million federal grant will allow officials with the Yellowstone National Park to improve an entryway to the park to improve traffic flow. The grant was awarded to the Gardiner Gateway Project at the park's North Entrance. An engineering graduate student was awarded a grant from the National Park Foundation to work on the newly approved entrance design. Construction on the project, which is designed to improve both the safety of pedestrians and to improve traffic, could begin sometime next year.


City could be in market for a new convention center manager

Robert Garza The city of Las Cruces is exploring how it might get out of its convention center management contract and hire a new manager. "We have concluded that we are not operating the Las Cruces Convention Center in the way we had hoped," said City Manager Robert Garza (pictured). City officials have visited with Global Spectrum, the company that currently owns the management contract, and has been asked to present an alternative contracting proposal. Additionally, city officials have issued a request for proposals from other companies that might be interested in the contract. The current contract is for five years for both management and operation of the convention center. There is, however, a provision that would allow the city to terminate the contract after three years. The expectations of city officials regarding the impact the convention center should have on the local economy has not materialized, said Garza. Although Spectrum has indicated it is interested in putting together an alternative proposal, responses to the RFP from other possible contractors are also being considered. 


Collaboration Nation

Who's winning government contracts?


Check out these recent awards:

  • Scientific Research Corp. was awarded an $8,974,067 modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract from the U.S. Department of Defense to exercise an option for the procurement of 200 Multi-Function Color Display (MFCD) units
  • Cobham Life Support has been awarded a U.S. Defense Logistics Agency contract worth up to $7.1 million to overhaul and upgrade Nitrogen Inerting Units for the AH-64 Apache helicopter
  • QinetiQ North America won a $20,359,579 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract from the U.S. Department of Defense for the procurement of man transportable robotic system (MTRS) MK 2 post-production support for joint service explosive ordnance disposal
  • Peterson Construction Company won a $6.6 million contract from Clark County, Nevada, commissioners for wastewater treatment facility.
  • Defense Support Services LLC has won a $46,097,112 modification to a previously awarded cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for organizational level maintenance with limited intermediate level maintenance in support of current and future aircraft assigned in support of the Naval Test Wing Pacific at Point Mugu and China Lake Naval Air Stations, California.
  • Kiewit New Mexico/Bohannan Huston Inc./Terracon team has won a $93 million contract from the New Mexico Department of Transportation to construct the Paseo/I-25 interchange project.
  • JCM Northlink L.L.C. has won a $440 million contract with Sound Transit, commuter train service for Central Puget Sound citizens, to mine 3.4 miles of twin light-rail tunnels as part of the Northgate Link Extension project, to connect the Northgate, Roosevelt and University District neighborhoods to downtown Seattle and Sea/Tac Airport.
  • Edbauer Construction has been awarded a $5.5 million contract by the New York Power Authority to develop a plan to link the Niagara Hydroelectric Power Plant with nearby Niagara University.
  • Bartlett Cocke General Contractors has been named by Christus Santa Rosa Health System as construction manager to oversee the $135 million transformation of its downtown campus into the new Children's Hospital of San Antonio. The project includes fully renovating all 12 floors of the existing City Centre campus structure, as well as its entire facade, to make way for the 414,000-square-foot children's hospital. 


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News about public-private partnerships (P3)


Unsolicited proposal leads to multi-billion Colorado highway project plan

Officials in Colorado recently laid out an example of an unsolicited proposal that is resulting in a public-private partnership. Parsons Corp. engineering firm recently submitted an unsolicited proposal to the Colorado Department of Transportation for a $3.5 billion project that is aimed at lessening traffic congestion on I-70 through the central mountains.


The project, which would be completed in phases, would include tolled express lanes and a bus rapid transit system that might be completed as early as 2021. The project is a result of an unsolicited proposal from Parsons in 2011. The company's proposal was to install reversible express lanes to accommodate traffic in peak traffic hours to and from the mountains. Another part of the proposal was straightening some curves on the interstate and resurfacing some lanes.


Although an expensive project at $3.5 billion, officials anticipate gross revenues over 50 years of $8.6 billion, with a surplus cash flow of more than $500 million after taking out costs and debt service.



Public-private partnership to help construct new auditorium

New Auditorium Officials at the University of Tennessee have announced a public-private partnership that will result in the construction of a new auditorium (as seen in the accompanying artist's rendering) that could be used for education purposes at the UT Arboretum in Oak Ridge.

Participating in the public-private partnership are UT AgResearch (part of the UT Institute of Agriculture), the UT Institute for Public Service and private-sector partner, the Rogers Group.


Funding comes through a land trade with the Rogers Group for property adjacent to the arboretum in exchange for property in Sweetwater, Tennessee. The property trade, however, will only partially fund the project and other funding will be sought.


The facility is also expected to be used for educational programs through the UT Institute for Public Service. The arboretum is expected to be used for education programming opportunities for the community, for training and social events.


Research Analysts

Where are they now?

 Are you a government official who has moved into a new position or to a new agency? Did you recently retire? Were you recently named to an executive-level position at a state-supported college, university or community college? Have you secured a new job as superintendent of a public school? If so, we'd like to hear from you - and so would your friends and colleagues - for our "Where Are They Now" column. Just drop us a line at and let us know about your previous job and where you are now. This week we feature Margarita Lopez.


Margarita Lopez Born in Puerto Rico, Margarita Lopez (pictured) moved to New York City in 1978, living on Manhattan's Lower East Side. She soon became an activist for affordable housing in the city. Her efforts resulted in construction and restoration of hundreds of units of affordable housing as well as numerous support services for residents of the area. Lopez was elected to the New York City Council representing the 2nd Councilman District in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, where she served two terms.  She served as the first chair of the newly expanded Council's Committee on Mental Health, Mental Retardation, Alcoholism, Drug Abuse and Disabilities ("Mental Health Committee").  She also served as a member of the Council's Finance, Contracts, Environmental and Higher Education Committees. She spent a dozen years serving on the city's Mental Health Committee, offering services for the homeless and individuals with mental illness in New York City. She served on the MacArthur Foundation's Advisory Committee on Mental Illness and the Law and has lectured and participated in training on issues related to multi-culturalism and team building in Los Angeles, Seattle, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Washington D.C. Lopez was appointed as a member of the board of the New York City Housing Authority in 2006. A little over a year later, she was appointed to be the Housing Authority's Environmental Coordinator, leading projects since 2007 to implement sustainability initiatives, including expanding recycling programs within the city's housing complexes. Last month, the Housing Authority board was abolished by a new law. She recently was named executive vice president for community programs and development at the Housing Authority. Beginning Aug. 15, she will be in charge of a variety of community outreach and development projects, will coordinate work on developing Authority land through outside development and public-private partnerships.  


Opportunity of the week...
A county agency in Virginia will build three group homes for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The project will be financed with $2.75 million in bonds approved last month. Each home will be around 2,600 square feet and include four bedrooms. Want to know more? Contact our Sales Team at 512-531-3900 or


Gregory Fenves Tony Bennett Pam Stewart Gregory Fenves (top left), dean of the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin, has been chosen as the university's new provost, effective Oct. 1, replacing Steve Leslie, who has been selected to serve as special assistant to UT President Bill Powers. Tony Bennett (top center), Florida's education commissioner, has resigned amid allegations that he changed the grade of a charter school that was run by a former donor of his when he was chief of the Indiana schools. Pam Stewart (top right), chancellor of Florida public schools who began her education career as a teacher in Hillsborough County and has been principal in Ocala and deputy superintendent in St. Johns County, has been chosen to serve as interim education commissioner. Roy Herrera, a longtime teacher and administrator in New Mexico public schools, has been named superintendent of the Santa Fe Indian School, a seventh- through 12th-grade school owned and operated by the 19 pueblos of New Mexico. Pueblo, Colorado, Fire Chief Christopher Riley, whose fire service career began in 1981 and includes being Chief Officer since 1996, has been tapped as the next fire chief in Colorado Springs. Henry Ford Community College in Dearborn, Michigan, has chosen Amalia Rodriguez-Mendoza Barbara Vacarr Kevin Reilly John S. Satkowski, a 36-year veteran in upper management positions in the private sector and higher education, as vice president of Financial Services. Travis County (Texas) District Clerk Amalia Rodriguez-Mendoza (middle right), first elected in 1990, has announced she will retire next year as her sixth term ends. Barbara Vacarr (middle center), president of Goddard College, has announced that she will step down from her position at the end of the year to focus on members of her family who have health problems. University of Wisconsin System President Kevin Reilly (middle left) has announced his resignation on Tuesday, after holding that position since 2004, and will leave in January 2014 to work as a part-time advisor for the American Council on Education and to return to teaching. Former Onslow County, North Carolina, Schools Superintendent Ron Singletary, who retired in 2006, has been selected as interim superintendent to replace Kathy Spencer, who has announced her retirement. Phoenix City Manager David Cavazos has announced that he is leaving Phoenix to become the next city manager in Santa Ana, a community in Orange County. Albuquerque Police Department Deputy Chief Allen Banks, a 21-year veteran of service with the APD, most recently as deputy chief of field services, has been tagged as the France Cordova Fred Van Leuven Maria Pitre-Martin city's new interim chief of police. France A. Cordova (bottom left), former president of Purdue University, has been selected by President Barack Obama to serve as the new director of the National Science Foundation, replacing Subra Suresh, who left to become president of Carnegie Mellon University. Fred Van Leuven (bottom center), former Santa Ynez Valley Union High School District superintendent, has been named as the new executive director of the Accrediting Commission for Schools of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, succeeding former Association of California School Administrators President David Brown. Thomasville (North Carolina) City Schools have picked Dr. Maria Pitre-Martin (bottom right), state director of K-12 curriculum and instruction at the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, as the new leader of the school system, succeeding Keith Tobin, who retired. Dr. Frank Baker has been named the interim superintendent for the Sumter (North Carolina) School District, replacing Randolph Bynum, who is resigning after serving two years as the consolidated district's inaugural superintendent. Craig Zins, a former city and government manager from the Cincinnati area, has been chosen to take the position of city manager in Ithaca, Michigan, effective Aug. 12. Canton, Michigan, Police Lt. Scott Hilden, a 21-year veteran of the Canton Police Department, has been promoted to deputy police chief.


Gemini Global Group

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NASCIO 2013 Annual Conference planned for Oct. 13-16

The National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) will hold its 2013 Annual Conference in Philadelphia on Oct. 13-16 at the Philadelphia Marriott. Registration for the conference, "Leadership Through Innovation and Collaboration," is currently open and early bird registration rates will be offered through Aug. 27. Information is also available by contacting Shawn Vaughn at


Public-private partnerships water conference set in Austin Sept. 11

"Public-Private Partnerships: A Solution for Texas Water Management," an interactive workshop on water issues, is set for Sept. 11 at the Hilton Austin Hotel. Information sessions featuring panels of experts will be held throughout the day. Among the moderators for panels are public-private partnership expert Mary Scott Nabers, president and CEO of Strategic Partnerships, Inc. and co-founder of the Gemini Global Group, and Mark Ellison, special advisor on economic development at the Texas Water Development Board. Nabers, author of Collaboration Nation: How Public-Private Ventures Are Revolutionizing the Business of Government, will both address conference attendees regarding public-private partnerships and then moderate a panel on "When to Use a P3 in Texas." Registration is now open and the agenda is available. The event is organized by the National Council for Public-Private Partnerships.


GMIS International - 'Connect with IT Leaders from Around the World'

GMIS International, the premier organization for public sector IT leaders, will hold its Annual Conference Aug. 18 - 21, in Charlotte, North Carolina. The conference brings together public sector technology leaders and decision-makers representing a wide variety of government agencies from throughout the United States. Representatives from international organizations will also attend and provide updates on technology initiatives in their respective countries. Don't miss this incredible opportunity to interact in historic Charlotte, North Carolina. To learn more about how you can participate as a sponsor or exhibitor, please click here.
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