Government Contracting Pipeline
Volume 6, Issue 43February 18, 2015
Connectivity - changing the face of competition
Mary Scott Nabers, President/CEO, Strategic Partnerships, Inc.


The "sharing economy" is upon us - ride sharing, home sharing, car sharing and more.

Services like Uber and Lyft are available, and legal, in many major cities. Thousands of properties - homes, condos and apartments - are listed on Airbnb and HomeAway. Car rentals and pet kenneling are offered through individual exchanges. 


In some cities, parking is related to another strange homespun enterprise. Individuals who are willing to park and hold spaces until there is a request to purchase the space are also reaching buyers through online connectivity.



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Nation's public housing gets boost from HUD funding


$1.8 billion will address large-scale repair, renovation, improvement projects

Julian Castro "Every American deserves a place to call home where they can successfully raise their kids, enhance their financial security and build a better life," said U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Julian Castro (pictured) as he recently announced nearly $1.8 billion in funding for public housing authorities.

Public housing authorities in all 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, will share in the funding. It is part of the HUD Capital Fund Program that will benefit some 3,100 public housing authorities. These authorities can use HUD the money to build, repair, renovate and/or modernize the public housing in their communities. (View the FY2015 Public Housing Capital Funding by state here.)

These funds will be used for major large-scale improvements to public housing in their communities. Some of the larger projects include roof replacements, energy efficiency upgrades and replacement of aging plumbing and electrical systems. The program has allowed HUD to make awards over the years to 60,000 public and assisted housing units in more than 340 different projects across the country. 

The largest allocation was $356,747,472 to the Housing Authority of New York. Some other multi-million-dollar awards included: Pennsylvania - $114,186,528; Texas - $73,527,456; Ohio - $72,912,128; California - $68,501,042; New Jersey - $61,232,549; and Georgia - $58,918,383.

HUD officials point to the fact that many of the public housing being lost throughout the country is related to disrepair. A recent HUD study found the nation's 1.1 million public housing units are facing an estimated $25.6 billion in large-scale repairs. These are capital needs projects, not routine maintenance.

"Through this funding, HUD is committed to strengthening our nation's affordable housing units and to providing folks with the springboard they need to succeed," said Castro.

Contracting Opportunities

Upcoming education opportunities


Oklahoma school district passes $340 million bond issue, new schools on tap

Jarod Mendenhall Three new elementary schools, a middle school and an addition to the high school dedicated to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education programs are in the works for the Broken Arrow (Oklahoma) Public Schools following the recent passage of a $340 million bond issue. More than $195 million of that amount will be used for the new schools and additions. Prior to the bond vote, Dr. Jarod Mendenhall (pictured) said that without the new schools, the district would be back in the situation of using pre-fab buildings, which they had only recently been able to eliminate. With the district enrolling more than 500 new students, the superintendent said school officials next year would likely begin consideration of adding another high school. The projects will be completed over a 12-year period and in four phases. The projects in each phase include:

  • Phase One - $93.5 million - one new elementary school, high school STEM classroom addition, Sequoyah Middle School renovation and expansion and Freshman Academy classroom addition;
  • Phase Two - $86.5 million - one new elementary, renovation and expansion of Childers and Oliver middle schools, vocational agriculture facility;
  • Phase Three - $88.5 million - new middle school, new elementary school, land acquisition; and
  • Phase Four - $101.5 million - Kirkland Activities Complex Part Two and Westwood Spirit and Auxiliary Gym.

Missouri Southern State University hopes to receive renovation funds

With Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon pledging $400 million toward building repairs, officials of Missouri Southern State University area already preparing for temporary classroom space for students. After Nixon's pledge, the state Senate recently authorized $400 million for repairs to state buildings. The university is awaiting its share of the funds and expects a $5.2 million appropriation for renovations to Reynolds Hall. MSSU officials already have secured mobile classrooms that were used in Joplin schools following a May 2011 tornado. These facilities will provide space for classes and science labs if money is set aside to renovate the first floor of the building, where those facilities are currently housed. 


OSU Institute of Technology will renovate buildings into residence halls

Bill Path Eighty students on the campus of Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology will soon have a new home in downtown Okmulgee, Oklahoma. The OSU Board of Regents last month approved a plan to purchase two properties in the downtown area of Okmulgee to transform them into student residence halls. The project is a result of efforts to rejuvenate the downtown area. Community leaders are involved in an effort to fill empty buildings downtown and the tech school needs additional housing for its students, said OSUIT President Bill Path (pictured). "The university has a problem that the community can solve, and the community has a problem that the university can solve," Path said. The tech school will purchase the old post office building and a connecting apartment building. The 40,000-square-foot post office and apartment building will be purchased for $280,000. Additionally, a 14,750-square-foot former opera house will be bought for $95,000. The connected facilities will require renovations that total between $3 million and $5 million to make them suitable housing for 70 students. The old opera house will require about $1 million in renovations that will lead to it serving as up to 19 loft spaces on the second floor, with the first floor plans undecided. Construction is expected to begin this summer and be ready for occupancy by 2017. The school will soon begin a selection process for an architect and construction manager. 


Missouri Senate approves millions for higher education repairs, renovations

Higher education buildings in Missouri are looking forward to sharing $400 million in bonding recently approved by the Missouri Senate. The funds would be used for repairs on college campuses as well as the State Capitol and other state buildings. Of the $400 million, about $200 million would be used for higher education buildings. New roofs, additions for handicapped access and heating and cooling system repairs are among projects planned. Much of the money will address deferred maintenance needs. Among the projects to be funded are $415,000 to Metropolitan Community College in Kansas City for fire safety projects and $38.5 million to the University of Missouri-Columbia to renovate Lafferre Hall. Although approved by the Senate, the measure now goes to the House for debate.  


USCB seeking appropriation from legislature to build new campus facility

Lynn McGee The University of South Carolina Beaufort is asking the state legislature for a $16 million appropriation to build a new building on its Bluffton campus. The new facility will help the campus keep up with its growing enrollment. "This new building is part of a long-term master plan for the campus and would enable the institution to expand its academic programs to meet the needs of students and our region," said vice chancellor of advancement Lynn McGee (pictured). The student enrollment now stands at 1,800 students. It has opened a new student recreation center to serve that growing population as well as planning a new campus residence hall next fall. The new facility the university wants to build would have a dozen classrooms that each seat 40 students. It would also have 60 faculty offices and 15 workspaces. USCB does not currently have another funding source for the project if it is not approved, McGee said.


SPI Training Services

Other upcoming contracting opportunities

New $70 million wastewater treatment plant planned for West Point
President Barack Obama has included in his draft budget a total of $70 million for a new wastewater treatment plant at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in New York. The money would be used to replace the Academy's sewage plant that was built in 1956. It has been upgraded once since then, in 1972. The biggest problem the plant had was in early 2013, when more than 700,000 gallons of untreated sewage from the West Point wastewater treatment system ran into the Hudson River. The plant has been operating under a consent order with the state to correct the problems.

TIFIA loan for $120 million will benefit Blue Line improvements

Rahm Emanuel Chicago's Blue Line will undergo major improvements, thanks to a $120 million Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan to the Chicago Transportation Authority. The money will be used for upgrades to tracks and stations. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (pictured) said modernizing the Blue Line is an investment in the city's future. "It not only serves as a vital transportation link connecting O'Hare and downtown, but it serves as a key economic engine for scores of Chicago neighborhoods," he said. Emanuel said the funds will help ensure the infrastructure the city needs to "succeed economically in the 21st Century." U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said the improvements to the Blue Line will mean improvements to transportation for the entire region. The project calls for upgrades to the track, power supply and signal system on the nearly 20-mile Blue Line route. The renovation project will also be funded with $16 million in the U.S. Department of Transportation's Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant funds awarded in 2012. The remainder of the four-year, $408.7 million Blue Line renovation will be paid through state, local and other sources.

Downtown streetcar system gains approval from Milwaukee legislators

A $124 million plan for a downtown Milwaukee streetcar system was recently approved by Milwaukee legislators. The system is expected to be funded by federal grants and tax increment districts. The plan for the system is to begin with just four cars and a loop of 2.5 miles through downtown Milwaukee. Officials eventually hope to extend the system to the international airport in the city 10 miles from downtown and three miles north to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Federal grants of $64.9 million are expected to provide part of the funding, along with $9.7 million from an existing tax incremental district and two proposed districts that are expected to generate $49.3 million. The system is expected to be completed by 2018. 


Bill would provide for infrastructure banks for local transportation projects

Richard Hanna A bill has been introduced to re-establish a system of infrastructure banks in the states to help provide funding for local transportation needs. Infrastructure banks have a history of providing necessary funding, according to one of the bill sponsors, Rep. Richard Hanna (pictured) of New York. "Robust infrastructure keeps the travelling public safe, facilitates trade and commerce, and creates jobs and investment in our economy," Hanna said. "We've seen state infrastructure banks work in red and blue states alike." The so-called State Transportation and Infrastructure Financing Innovation Act (STIFIA) would amend the current Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (also known as MAP-21) and would authorize states to establish infrastructure banks using existing federal transportation dollars through 2020. Infrastructure banks have been successful in the past in many states during the period from 2005 to 2009. The banks' role in infrastructure improvement was to provide loans, construct debt financing and lines of credit for transportation projects in their respective areas. The STIFIA program would put financing these projects in the hands of states and local governments that know the needs of the area. The federal government would provide seed money for the infrastructure banks to help promote private investment in many of the projects. 


County in Illinois discussing possible $32 million jail project

A $32 million project is being considered in Champaign County, Illinois, regarding the county jail. The county's options are to either put all of the sheriff's operations in one building or continue with the current two-structure system. The project and its two options are part of the county's master plan, and although both cost a little over $32 million, the county has not yet found a source of funding for the project. The master plan projects that a consolidation effort would cost $32.6 million and renovating the existing site would cost $32.1 million. A consolidated jail would have 307 beds and each pod would have space for indoor-outdoor exercise, programs, semi-private video visiting and janitor and storage spaces. Officials are not sure they should even start the design phase until they have nailed down construction funding. There is a good chance the county may have to have a bond issue that would include a tax increase - either property or sales - to fund the project.


Research Analysts - Contracts

Who's winning government contracts?


Check out these recent awards: 

  • PCL Civil Construction was awarded a $128.3 million contract by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet to build a new bridge over Lake Barkley. The four-lane bridge will carry U.S. 68-Kentucky 80 over Lake Barkley and will replace the Henry Lawrence Memorial Bridge at Canton.
  • Las Vegas Paving won a $235 million contract from the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada for the second portion of the two-phase Boulder City bypass project, the first new infrastructure for Interstate 11.
  • Symmes Maini & McKee Associates won a $238,243 contract from the Warwick (Rhode Island) School Committee as the outside consulting firm to study the district and recommend a long-term master educational and facilities plan.
  • Skanska USA was awarded a $1.5 million contract from Caltrans to repair theTheodore Street overpass over the 60 freeway in Moreno Valley. The company will rebuild two of the six girders on the south side of the bridge over the westbound lanes.
  • Woolpert Inc. won a $300,348 contract from the Ohio Department of Transportation's District 6 to begin a project to replace culverts on two major highways, providing culvert and retaining-wall design, hydraulic engineering, roadway tie-ins and safety upgrades for U.S. 23, between Lewis Center and the city of Delaware in Delaware County, and Ohio 423 in southern Marion County.
  • Quality Excavation was awarded a $779,000 contract from Parker County (Texas) for the first phase of the Springtown Main Street Drainage Improvements project, which consists of the excavation and channel widening of Walnut Creek at the intersection of FM Road 51 and State Highway 199 in Springtown.
  • GCT Constructors, JV, comprised of the Secaucus, N.J.-based builder Schiavone Construction Co. and the Lawrence-based architectural firm John P. Picone, Inc., won a $404.8 million contract from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority of New York to build a 375,000 square-foot concourse, electrical components, escalators and elevators 140 feet below ground across the station's network from 44th to 50th streets and Park Avenue in Manhattan.
  • Smith & Company won a $3.86 million contract from the city of Conroe, Texas, for the widening of Crighton Road from Interstate 45 to FM 1314. The road will be three lanes including a turn lane with shoulder improvements.
News about public-private partnerships (P3)


CDOT seeking private partner for project on Interstate 70 in Denver
Colorado transportation officials are looking for a private-sector partner to help finance and oversee a $1.8 billion project on Interstate 70 in Denver. Many of the state's Transportation Commission members see a public-private partnership (P3/PPP) as the way to go - with a private firm responsible for the design, construction, financing, operation, maintenance and repair of the roadway.

In a P3/PPP, the private partner assumes most of the risk for financing for the project, and that appeals to most members of the Colorado Transportation Commission. It is especially appealing because the state is short $90 million in funding to complete the project. 

The project, the largest in the state's history, would both widen the highway and oversee proposed tolling of the interstate. The commission will make its final decision on the financing of the I-70 improvements later this week.

Chapel Hill looking at partnerships as means of solving some city problems
George Cianciolo In Chapel Hill, North Carolina, officials are looking at solutions to transit funding, infrastructure and affordable housing. At a recent city planning retreat, the Town Council discussed a number of options and innovative solutions. "Nothing was off the table," said George Cianciolo (pictured), one of the town council members.

Regarding affordable housing, there is a public-private partnership (P3/PPP) plan under consideration to partner with a nonprofit to build affordable rentals on land owned by the town. "We're looking at more public-private partnerships," says Cianciolo. The councilman said the town is in a position to possibly buy additional land that can be leveraged for other possible P3s/PPPs. 

The town is also looking at future projects that may include replacing the police station, repaving roads, improving infrastructure and building a new teen center. The town will continue to weigh options, including seeking support from the private sector. 

Parking recommendations could take advantage of public partner for project

Parking challenges in Appleton, Wisconsin, have led city officials to consider a public-private partnership (P3/PPP) to build a new parking ramp to replace two aging downtown ramps. A recommendation from a consultant would be for construction of a new mixed-use parking ramp to replace the other ramps. Both of the older ramps are nearly 50 years old and are likely to need replacing within five years.


An Illinois parking firm estimates that a new ramp, with retail space on the ground floor, would cost about $10 million. It suggests that the project could involve a P3/PPP and could be paid for by a private partner, but owned by the city. The new proposed ramp would have 575 spaces. Other projects under consideration are a library expansion or in a new location and a new exhibition center.

Private-sector funds to be sought for construction of customs plaza

A customs plaza that will be the impetus for a future bridge to link Detroit and Windsor, Ontario, may be built with private-sector funds. The United States and Canada have pledged funding toward the project. Canada will provide funding or guarantee private funding for most of the $3.65 billion cost. The United States was expected to contribute some $250 million toward the project. But, the President's budget did not include that funding. The project is expected to mitigate traffic congestion over one of the world's busiest trade routes. How much the United States will pay is still under consideration.


Collaboration Nation

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 Cynthia Teniente-Matson. 


Cynthia Matson Dr. Cynthia Teniente-Matson (pictured), former Vice President for Administration and Chief Financial Officer of California State University Fresno, was recently confirmed as the second president of Texas A&M University-San Antonio. Born in San Antonio, Matson's duties at Cal State University Fresno included overseeing financial services, facilities and capital management, human resources, technology services, University Police and auxiliary services. Teniente-Matson served at Fresno State since 2004. Prior to that, she held a variety of administrative positions at the University of Alaska, Anchorage from 1991 to 2004, culminating in her role as Vice Chancellor of Administrative Services, where she was responsible for administrative, fiscal and facilities management for a comprehensive multi-site university. She earned a bachelor's degree in 1989 from the University of Alaska Fairbanks and a Master of Business Administration in 1998 from the University of Alaska Anchorage. She received a doctorate in Educational Leadership from Fresno State in 2013.


Opportunity of the week...

A university on the East Coast has issued a request for qualifications for interested firms to develop a medical office building. The building will be at least 30,000 square feet and will served as office space for health care professionals as well as space for health-related businesses. The university will be selecting a full-service developer to design, finance, construct and manage a medical office building or similar specialty medical center. Want to know more? Contact our Sales Team at 512-531-3900 or


Carlos Martinez Beverly Scott Pedro Cortez Carlos Martinez (top left), who has served in a variety of management roles responsible for redevelopment, economic development and housing for the past 11 years and has served as interim city manager of East Palo Alto since October 2014, has been named city manager.  Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority General Manager Beverly Scott (top center) announced recently that she will resign this April after having taken the job in December 2012 and after previously holding senior positions with other metropolitan transit authorities, including the MTA in New York. Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf has chosen Pedro Cortez (top right) as Acting Secretary of the Pennsylvania Commonwealth after Cortez became Secretary of the Commonwealth under then-Gov. Ed Rendell until 2010. The Lincoln City (California) Council has chosen Matthew Brower, who has experience in municipal government in Florida and Utah to be the new city manager, replacing interim Lincoln City Manager Bill Zenoni, who has been serving since former City Manager Jim Estep retired in August. The Ferguson-Florissant School District in Missouri has hired Joseph Davis, a Harvard-trained educator who leads a rural North Carolina school system, as its next superintendent, replacing Art McCoy, who resigned last spring. James T. Harris III, president of Widener University in Chester, Pennsylvania, has been chosen as president of the University of San Diego, to replace Mary Lyons in August. Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin has appointed Secretary of Chris Benge Leonard Hoshijo Rachel Levine State Chris Benge (bottom right), a member of the Cherokee Nation, as Native American liaison within the governor's office. Hawaii Gov. David Ige has announced his appointment of Leonard Hoshijo (bottom center) to be the deputy director in the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, with Hoshijo leaving his position as the Education and Political Director for the Hawaii Regional Council of Carpenters. Dr. Rachel Leland Levine (bottom left),  who has worked for the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center for 18 years as a professor of Pediatrics and Psychiatry and the Center's Chief of the Division of Adolescent Medicine and Eating Disorders, was recently selected by Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf to be Physician General of Pennsylvania. Burlington (Vermont) School District has named Yaw Obeng, former superintendent in Burlington, Ontario, as the new school superintendent, replacing former Superintendent Jeanne Collins, who stepped down. Richmond (Virginia) Mayor Dwight C. Jones has announced that Alfred Durham, who has spent much of his career with the Washington Metropolitan Police Department, will be the next Richmond police chief, replacing current Chief Ray J. Tarasovic. Robert Garcia, a 20-year veteran of the U.S. Forest Service, has been named the next fire chief at Angeles National Forest and the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument's fire and aviation program, replacing James Hall, who is stepping down.


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Does your organization or agency have an upcoming event that would be of interest to either vendors who do business with government or officials and workers in state and local government, higher education, public education or health care? Are you planning a webinar? A conference or seminar? The Government Contracting Pipeline invites government and nonprofits to send information regarding your events for consideration to be included in our FREE Calendar of Events section below. In addition to providing contact information, the day, date, time and a synopsis of the event, you may also include a link to additional information on your Web page and/or a link to online registration that we'll include. Please submit your event information to

Calendar of events

NAC Legislative Conference set in D.C. for Feb. 21-25
More than 2,000 elected and appointed county officials from throughout the country are making plans to attend the National Association of Counties Legislative Conference on Feb. 21-25 in Washington, D.C., at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel. Those attending will hear from key federal officials and members of Congress as well as have the opportunity to attend numerous educational programs addressing current and hot-topic issues. Educational sessions will address such topics as federal legislative and policy issues that impact counties, public pension reform and current legislative efforts. Registration is now open and the conference schedule is available. 

National League of Cities to host Congressional City Conference in March
The National League of Cities will host its annual Congressional City Conference on March 7-11 in Washington, D.C. More than 1,000 officials from cities and towns in the United States will attend and share their views with the Administration and members of Congress. The event will draw city managers, elected officials, intergovernmental affairs staff, chief financial officers, senior policy officials and others. Attendees will hear directly from policy makers and thought leaders on the issues that matter to city officials. They will examine federal policies that affect cities, the latest funding opportunities and emerging trends. Information will be relayed regarding infrastructure, public safety, community resilience and federal regulations. The daily schedule is now available and registration is open.
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