Volume 11, Issue 12- Wednesday, March 27, 2019
Mary Scott Nabers, President/CEO, Strategic Partnerships, Inc.

Government data centers reached a tipping point some time ago and now big changes are occurring. A recent Gartner report explained that traditional (and older) data centers, which are exactly what most governmental entities rely on, are being relegated to legacy holding areas where only specific services are handled. As government leaders adapt to extreme technology change, a significant new market looms large. 

It's not all that surprising because technology equipment is expensive, quickly outdated and ever-changing. Technology requirements are also morphing, and maintaining network security is extremely difficult. Older networks are more fragile and vulnerable to cyberattacks. 

Strange as it seems, almost everything related to technology has changed over the past decade. The Internet of Things (IoT), big data, cloud storage, interconnected services, apps of every type, software as a service (SaaS) and the immediate need for digital infrastructure - these are the components forcing extreme and immediate modernization. Older data centers simply cannot provide the capacity, equipment, resources and services that are required today. Couple that grim reality with the risks associated with cyber security and it's understandable why privatization is attractive to government leaders. 

Commercial data centers face the same hurdles. Together, the two sectors have created an extremely large new marketplace. The global data center colocation market is projected to grow to $50.18 billion by the end of 2020. 

Every jurisdiction of government has been impacted. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is currently asking for industry input as to how the agency should consolidate two enterprise computing data centers. DHS also wants industry input on how to implement an enhanced cloud-based infrastructure with "a multi-cloud, federated and vendor neutral" cloud strategy. This will result in a large contracting opportunity for some private-sector firm.

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Illinois - Hinsdale Township High School District 86 will ask voters on April 2 to pass a $138 million bond issue. The April referendum comes after a $166 million referendum was turned down by voters in November. If the bond passes, Hinsdale South High School will receive more than $79 million and Hinsdale Central High School will receive more than $59 million for major updates and renovations. 

Some projects would include: replacing the intercom system at both high schools; improved security at entrances and doors for both schools; renovating the pools at both schools; the addition of a girls locker room at Central; renovation of the libraries at both schools; replacing the hot water system at South; and replacing the artificial turf fields at both schools. The full list of projects and dollar amount can be viewed here
Indiana - The Fort Wayne International Airport needs a $44 million expansion to accommodate its continued growth within the current 100,000-square-foot terminal. Plans are in motion for a two-phase project on the west and east parts of the terminal. This year, preparations are underway to expand the first and second floors of the west terminal by about 30,000 square feet. The expansion of the first floor includes additional circulation space around airline ticket counters and a new outbound baggage system. The second floor will have expanded holding room space and an additional jet bridge. Passengers will also see updated finishes, furnishings and signs. 

Fort Wayne International Airport Authority officials would like its board to select an architectural design firm for the west terminal phase in May, following another hearing on the project next month. The board plans to work with the Transportation Security Administration this summer with the hope of getting a grant application for that part of the project approved so design work on it can start in the fall. Construction on the terminal improvements could start next year. The airport had a record 381,139 outbound passengers in 2018. Parts of the building date back to the 1950s and in January construction wrapped up on a $3.35 million upgrade, including a new terminal entrance road.  
Indiana- The Federal Transit Administration has provided a favorable rating for the South Shore Line's West Lake Corridor extension project to receive $440 million in federal funding. With a positive outlook on potential funding, the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District (NICTD) Board of Trustees has approved issuing a request for qualifications (RFQ) to interested engineering and construction firms that can take on a design-build approach for the 9-mile rail line. 

The RFQ will be due in May, a committee will identify the top candidates to proceed and NICTD will issue them a request for proposals asking for more detailed plans for the project. A grant agreement is anticipated by next spring with the federal government to pay half the project's cost, after which construction would begin. The goal is to begin operations in 2024.   
Michigan - Branch County Board of Commissioners has plans for a new jail and hope to break ground this summer on the facility. As the architect finishes the final designs for the 120-bed jail, the county will prepare and issue a request for qualifications (RFQ) for a construction manager. The next step will be to issue a request for proposals before final selection is made for a construction manager. The chosen candidate will hire all subs and contractors to work on a facility that is scheduled for completion in the summer of 2020. 

There are two options for the location of the jail. One is west of the current jail on vacant county-owned land. The other is north and adjacent to the current jail on Marshall Road. The west site is preferred but architects are waiting for a survey and soil boring. There is ponding and wetlands on that site with a wooded area on the back of the 20 acres of land. Trees in the wooded area would be harvested and a perimeter road would surround the facility for fire service. Barns and garages for storage would be built on the back of the site.  
Maryland - Montgomery County leaders are debating a plan to add managed lanes on Interstate 270 and Maryland's portion of the Capital Beltway. The proposed plan includes new toll lanes on I-495 and I-270 developed as part of a Public-Private Partnership Program. The council is not fully in agreement with the proposal, citing public transit and bus rapid transit having free access to toll lanes with dedicated ramps options as potential solutions to the congestion issues. Officials are reaching out to the community via public workshops to share information and foster collaboration with local elected officials. The county is seeking proposals from companies that are interested in a design, build, operate and maintain agreement for the next 50 years of tollway operation. 

A letter was sent to legislators in Annapolis in February by Transportation Secretary Pete Rahn stating that the first phase of contracting would be rebuilding the American Legion Bridge and parts of Beltway east to Interstate 95. The second phase of contracting would include one deal to build and operate the lanes from I-370 to the Beltway on I-270 and another to build and run the lanes around the Beltway to near Maryland Route 5. This project would begin after a contractor is chosen for the first phase. Any extensions beyond that would come in a third round of contracting sometime later.  
Arizona - The city of Phoenix has started the process of allowing developers to submit formal proposals for city-owned land at 2nd and Adams streets in the downtown area. Located on the land is a parking garage that has been appraised at $11.45 million. The garage has 22,753 square feet of leasable ground floor commercial space and 40,500 square feet of rooftop space. The city leases about 360 of the 506 parking spaces in the garage to other companies or groups, and a potential developer would have to maintain a parking component in any future project on the site. 

City officials envision an urban mixed-use project that is at least seven stories but could be up to 25 stories - or 250 feet tall. Built in 1972, the garage is located across from a convention center and hotel. Once released, the request for proposals will be available for 60 days before returning to the City Council for selection and business terms.  
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Hawaii - Hawaii officials are exploring public-private partnerships to help cover the $525 million funding for a new detention center on the Island of Oahu. The Department of Public Safety has urged state officials to find a way to increase the capacity of the state's jails and prisons. The agency is pursuing plans to add additional cells on Kauai, Maui and the Big Island. The state is preparing draft environmental assessments in preparation for such plans. 

In August, Gov. David Ige announced the state had completed its review of an environmental impact statement that calls for relocating the Oahu Community Correctional Center (OCCC) from Kalihi to the site of the Animal Quarantine Station in Halawa, a cost estimated to be $525 million. Ige hopes to redevelop the former OCCC site for redevelopment because it is located on the rail route. The state is also moving forward with the design and construction of an expansion of the Women's Community Correctional Center in Kailua, to prepare for the transfer of women there from OCCC. It was reported in October that state officials had set aside $40 million for the project, which will allow for construction of a new 180-bed facility there.  
Tennessee - Overton Park will need new tenants by next summer for 186,000 square feet of space and the city of Memphis is looking to find someone that can creatively reimagine what can be done with this blank canvas. This week, the city launched an open call for "creative reimaginings" for two buildings called "Create Your Space." A selection committee will choose respondents to expand on their ideas as part of a request for proposals (RFP) process. 

The two buildings include the Memphis College of Art (MCA), which closes next summer, and the relocation of the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art to the downtown area in 2023. The ideas, which can be for both buildings, just one building or part of either building, must be submitted by April 30. The city owns both the Brooks building and land it sits on. The city also owns the land that the MCA was built on and that building will revert to city ownership once the college closes.  
Ohio - The Ashland County Recycling Center could be outsourced if county commissioners choose that option. All recycling operations, including collection and processing, would be handled by an outside company. The second option would outsource some, but not all, of the services currently offered. This option would change the operations at the Ashland County Recycling Center, likely by converting it from a processing facility, where recyclables are sorted, to a transfer facility, where materials are collected and then sold to brokers prior to sorting. A firm was hired recently to assist the county in further assessing options, performing a feasibility study and putting out a request for proposals from recycling companies. 

The county plans to take into consideration the need for compliance with Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations and the impact any changes might have on the county. According to EPA rules, the county must either provide sufficient access to recycling opportunities to 90 percent of residents or ensure that 25 percent of residential waste and 66 percent of industrial waste is recycled.  
Wisconsin - Door County administrators have been discussing how to discontinue the county emergency services program and contract instead with a private firm. The county's administrative committee wants to see if any private providers are interested in serving the county and plans to draft a request for qualifications (RFQ) for approval by the full board. 

The county would lease its facilities and equipment to a private firm, and then the county would only have to worry about maintaining the facilities and vehicles. The county would pay a flat fee to the provider, and the provider would determine rates for service. The county currently has 18 full-time and 6 part-time paramedics, 45 part-time EMTs and 150 emergency medical responders. 
Florida - The Jacksonville Downtown Investment Authority (DIA) is taking bids from developers interested in the old city hall and Duval County Courthouse redevelopment. The DIA's Strategic Implementation Committee agreed to begin the process of issuing a formal notice of disposition, which triggers a new search for development ideas for 220 and 330 E. Bay streets. 

Before a notice is issued, the DIA is expected to hire a real estate consultant to help market the search, identify criteria and act as a liaison to the development community. The consultant could identify uses the city wants incorporated in proposals, like creating greenspace, engaging with the waterfront, being sensitive to retail needs along Bay Street and parking.  
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Illinois - The village of Schaumburg plans to issue a request for proposals (RFP) for a 20-acre entertainment district and is hoping to find a developer for the project by the end of the year. The area to be included in the RFP is located on the east side of Meacham Road between the Interstate 90 tollway and Algonquin Road. 

The project aims to redevelop areas around the Schaumburg Convention Center with restaurants, hotels and entertainment venues, as well as a proposed initiative to design a multistory parking deck. A 2,800-seat performing arts center is also on a long list of initiatives.  
Massachusetts - Middleton town officials plan to issue a request for qualifications to conduct a master development study of the recently purchased golf course. The town would like to add municipal facilities to the 52-acre property and the study will look at whether to combine or separate a fire and police public safety building and whether a new town hall should be combined with a community center. 

Once a firm is hired, the master development plan will take five to six months to complete. The plan is to put a proposal to voters at a special town meeting in the fall of 2019 and possibly break ground for development in late 2020. The Middleton Golf Course will be closing at the end of March and there is a possibility that the town could lease the golf course to another entity so it could stay open until ground is broken.  
California - Fountain Valley City Council members have agreed to issue a request for proposals (RFP) to update the 142 Orange County Transportation Authority bus stops scattered throughout the town. An outdoor advertising firm owns and maintains the shelters, but the city has reservations on the firm's upkeep. Of the Fountain Valley's bus stops, 56 are fully outfitted transit shelters, with a covered bench and trash can beside two large advertising panels that function like street-level billboards. 

The contracts between Fountain Valley and the advertising firm have been short, six-month terms since 2011, making long-term capital investment difficult. The upcoming RFP will assist the city in weighing options on whether to choose a new contractor to maintain the shelters that were installed in 1996.  
Ohio - Gov. Mike DeWine has announced a newly-created state agency being developed in Ohio called Innovate Ohio. The first step of the program, which is being led by Lt. Gov Jon Husted, is to create the SmartOhio Operating System. The system will require departments to use data sharing tools, to improve the efficiency of services across state government and give the capacity to provide for predictive analytics to solve problems before they occur. It will provide training programs for industrial workers to learn robotics, will assist state agencies to share their data with each other and incorporate blockchain technology into government functions. 

DeWine wants to create a public-private partnership to allow the private sector to bring data sharing solutions they create into government to improve the way public services are delivered. The goal is to attract innovative ideas, new investment, create jobs and support the Ohio businesses of the future. Another proposal involves accelerating the push from paper to digital records by using blockchain technology to create secure digital records and improve convenience. This would cover documents such as car titles, proof of insurance, vehicle recall notices and license plates. Innovate Ohio also will create an advisory council of Ohio business and technology leaders to offer ideas on how the administration can improve customer service.  
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New Jersey and New York - Clarelle DeGraffe has been promote to director of rail transit and general manager of the Port Authority Trans-Hudson Corp. PATH. She succeeds PATH Director Mike Marino, who announced he would retire in April. DeGraffe has served as deputy director of PATH since 2015 and has 29 years of experience working with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. DeGraffe will oversee the PATH's capital program, including an ongoing project to replace equipment and rebuild tunnels damaged during Superstorm Sandy. 

Florida - Steven Currall has been chosen as the next president of the University of South Florida. Currall will replace Judy Genshaft, who will step down on July 1 after holding the position since 2000. Currall is currently provost and vice president for academic affairs at Southern Methodist University. He was previously vice chair of the board of directors and a member of the executive committee for the 10-campus University of California system's Global Health Institute.

Connecticut - Seila Mosquera-Bruno of Milford was chosen in February to serve as commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Housing. Mosquera-Bruno is currently the president and chief executive officer of NeighborWorks New Horizons, a nonprofit organization dedicated to developing quality, affordable homes and supporting community building initiatives in New Haven, Fairfield, Southern Hartford and New London counties. 

Virginia - The Albermarle County Department of Fire Rescue has a new deputy chief. Heather Childress will take the position April 1. Childress has more than 25 years of volunteer and career experience in Fire and Emergency Medical Services. She was previously the acting deputy chief of Administration in Lynchburg, Va. 

Arkansas - Keith Humphrey has been named the city of Little Rock's chief of police. Originally from the Dallas metro area, Humphrey has spent the last seven years as the police chief in Norman, Okla. Prior to his arrival in Oklahoma, Humphrey served for several years as chief of a smaller department in Texas. Humphrey will take over the department in the next 30 days. 

Missouri - University of Missouri-St. Louis (UMSL) Chancellor Tom George will retire Sept. 1. George held the post for 16 years. An interim chancellor will be named in June and a national search will be conducted to pick a permanent successor. Though George's UMSL service ends in September, he will continue serving through 2020 as the president emeritus of the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities. 

Montana - Shane Stack, the former chair of the Missoula County Airport Authority and an engineer with the Montana Department of Transportation, was named the county's new director of Public Works. Stack, who served 23 years with the state transportation agency, will start on April 1. Stack will oversee all Public Works operations including the road, building and mapping divisions. His duties also include the Surveyors Office and the six sewer and water districts under county jurisdiction. 

Illinois - U.S. District Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer will head to the federal court in Chicago, succeeding Ruben Castillo as chief judge on July 1. Pallmeyer has been a district judge in the Dirksen U.S. Courthouse since October 1998 and served as a federal magistrate in the same courthouse for seven years before that. 

Ohio - Verna L. Williams was named the new dean of the University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Law March 20. Williams has served as interim dean and Nippert professor of Law since May of 2017. Williams joined the university as an assistant professor in 2001. She was named professor in 2006 and served as Judge Joseph P. Kinneary Professor of Law from 2013-2017. Prior to joining the UC faculty, Williams practiced law at the Department of Justice and served as vice president and director of educational opportunities at the National Women's Law Center. 

West Virginia - Former Raleigh County Commissioner Byrd White has been named by Gov. Jim Justice as the state's next Department of Transportation secretary. A certified public accountant, White previously served as executive vice president of one of the country's largest road construction companies. He replaces former Secretary of Transportation Tom Smith, who was terminated from the job. 

Washington - Della Bell-Freeman has been hired as the new superintendent of the Spokane R-VII School District, effective July 1. She is the current assistant superintendent of the Montgomery County R-II School District, after 22 years of service as a teacher and principal in the Moberly School District. Bell-Freeman will replace current Superintendent Terry Jamieson, who recently announced his plans to resign after two years with the district. Jamieson's departure date has been set for the fall. 

Washington, D.C.- Recently retired senior vice president of flight operations for a major airline, Stephen Dickson, has been tapped by President Donald Trump as the new Federal Aviation Administration administrator. If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Dickson will also serve as chair of the Air Traffic Services Committee in the U.S. Department of Transportation. Dickson is a U.S. Air Force veteran and civilian airline pilot. He replaces former administrator Michael Huerta, who stepped down at the end of his five-year term in early 2018 after being appointed by then-President Barack Obama.   
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