Volume 12, Issue 4 - Wednesday, January 22, 2020
By Mary Scott Nabers, CEO of Strategic Partnerships, Inc.  

Renovate or replace - these are the options government entities must decide between constantly. The tools, systems, facilities, programs, and technology necessary for efficient operations in cities, counties, schools, and state agencies are high priorities. Aging operational infrastructure is outdated, ineffective, costly, and, in some situations, dangerous. New projects are being announced weekly as public officials decide how to modernize and provide efficient services to citizens.

But, here's the question they face: Does it make more sense to renovate old facilities or build new ones? Is old software a potential cybersecurity risk that can be updated, or must it be replaced? Can very old facilities be made to operate less costly? Most of these decisions are based on studies, cost projections, and citizen input. But, no matter the method, the decisions are never easy ones.

Here are a few examples of choices that will be made soon. Project launches will follow quickly.

North Carolina
The Halifax County School Board must decide whether to repair, renovate, or replace its high school. It will cost $63 million to repair, $88 million to renovate, or $107 million to construct a new facility. Life expectancy for the school would be 15 to 20 years for a repaired building, 25 to 30 years for a renovated building, or 55 to 70 years for a new facility. Replacing the high school would solve issues of outdated instructional design, inefficient operating equipment, security, etc., but officials will seek public input before taking action. A decision is likely soon because cost projections for each option will increase by approximately $5 million for every year of delay.

Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta
California - The Department of Water Resources (DWR) released a Notice of Preparation (NOP) for an environmental impact report for the proposed $11 billion Delta Conveyance Project. The Delta Conveyance Project envisions an underground tunnel with two intakes that will have a combined diversion capacity of 6,000 cubic feet-per-second.

Billions of gallons of water would be diverted from the San Joaquin Delta to southern California. The state's current system of reservoirs, aqueducts, and pumping plants delivers water to more than 27 million residents by diverting rain and snow from the Sierra Nevada mountains.

Adding the tunnel would halt deterioration of the delta's ecosystem and help deliver water to cities and farms.

The NOP is the first step in California's extensive environmental review process. Public comments regarding the notice may be made through March 20.
Louisiana marsh creation
Louisiana - The Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority will tender almost 30 major coastal restoration and flood protection projects this year. 

Total construction costs are estimated at $1.97 billion for all 28 projects that will create or nourish more land than will be lost to erosion, subsidence, and sea level rise. 

The state is expected to lose 12 square miles of land this year, while the proposed dredging projects are expected to create or nourish 17 square miles.

Nineteen projects are scheduled to go out to bid in the first quarter of 2020. These include the Spanish Pass increment of the Barataria Basin Ridge and Marsh Creation program, and stabilization of the shoreline along the New Orleans Landbridge.

Five projects will be put out to bid in the second quarter, including repairing the pump station in St. Bernard Parish, constructing the Rosethorne Tidal Protection levee and floodwalls in Lafitte, and building the Houma Navigation Canal Lock Complex.

During the third quarter, construction bids will be accepted for the West Shore Lake Pontchartrain levee system and for the first phase of the Lake Borgne Marsh Creation project.

In the final quarter of 2020, project bids will be accepted for the Large-Scale Barataria Marsh Creation and the Golden Triangle Marsh Creation.
Rendering of Miami-Dade North Corridor
Florida - Miami-Dade leaders are revising a request for proposals (RFP) for construction of 9.5 miles of Metrorail through Miami Gardens. Known as the North Corridor, the route is part of the county's Smart Plan.

The project may now depend on funding from the state and the federal government. The RFP has been revised due to feedback from transportation officials and could be changed again to attract more funding options.

Officials are now discussing the project with the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to see whether it qualifies for New Starts grants from the federal government.

The New Starts program offers funding to fixed-guideway transit systems costing at least $300 million to build, and which are seeking more than $100 million in aid. The North Corridor project is estimated to cost $1.9 billion.
Newport High School
Washington - Bellevue School District board members will seek approval from voters for a $675 million bond referendum on February 11 to fund several capital projects.

If the measure passes, the district would use bond funds to rebuild Big Picture School, International School, and Jing Mei School into modern and safe facilities with additional student capacity.

The district also would expand Newport and Interlake high schools through additions and renovations to add student capacity.

Other bond items would provide learning spaces for science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) classes, add security vestibules to eight schools and safety posts to 19 school entrances, replace aging education service centers, and designate funding to purchase property for future school locations.
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
Minnesota - Gov. Tim Walz proposed the state invest $224.2 million in the University of Minnesota toward infrastructure improvements such as renovating existing facilities, as well as constructing three new buildings.

The governor's proposal calls for $125 million to go toward general renovation projects as part of the Higher Education Asset Preservation Replacement program.

The remaining nearly $100 million would fund three projects. Two of these involve the Twin Cities campus, which include replacing the psychology department's child development building and constructing laboratory space for undergraduate chemistry students. The other project involves modernizing 36,000 square feet of space for liberal arts courses in A.B. Anderson Hall on the Duluth campus.

Lawmakers are set to review the governor's proposal during the next legislative session, which will convene on February 11.
Memphis International Airport
Tennessee - Memphis International Airport plans to create better facilities to accommodate growth, including building a new travel plaza.

The plaza would be located near the cell phone lot and would provide gas and food options for travelers.

Officials are seeking a public-private partnership (P3) to develop and operate the travel plaza.

This year, the airport plans to send out a request for proposals (RFP) which will help identify a private partner for the project. Officials hope to finalize a contract for the facility next year.

A new master plan will also be completed, which will include capital improvement projects involving the modernization of the main terminal building, developing an expanded cargo ramp, and creating a maintenance and repair facility to serve airlines.
Rendering of Riverfront Park
Missouri - The St. Joseph Tourism Commission recommends creating a pedestrian trail along the Missouri River. The trail is part of a 10-year $90 million master plan to transform the area into a tourist destination.

As part of the project, city staff recommend constructing a pedestrian bridge over Highland Avenue to connect the trails over the north and south bluffs.

The commission also recommends redeveloping Robidoux Landing Park, also known as Riverfront Park, to include parking improvements, a playground, an urban beach and splash plaza, infrastructure to accommodate entertainment, and a waterfront revetment.
Robidoux Landing Park is estimated to attract 44,000 visitors annually and about $2 million in new revenue.

In total, the riverfront master plan involves five project areas: the north riverfront, the riverfront core, the bluff, the eco-link, and the downtown riverfront.

The master plan proposes several projects such as adding an RV campground, building a zip line canopy tour, improving the boardwalk, updating Heritage Park, and adding a riverfront dining experience. It also would involve re-zoning, utility extensions, and streetscape improvement efforts.
Rendering of OSU agricultural sciences building
Oklahoma - A $50 million gift will have a major impact on the University of Oklahoma's College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources.

The donation was announced at a capital fundraising event. The funds will create a $25 million endowment for the college's operations, and kickstart a fundraising campaign for a research and teaching building with the remaining $25 million.

In total, the building is estimated to cost $100 million. OSU has raised $30 million of its $50 million fund-raising goal toward the construction project. The university plans to begin construction in spring 2021 and complete the building by fall 2023.

Planning has already begun for the new facility, which will include innovative research laboratories, dynamic classrooms, faculty offices, robust student service programs, and strategically planned spaces to encourage a sense of community.
Kamehameha Highway erosion
Hawaii - Responding to rising sea levels and the threat of erosion, Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) officials are committing funds to the realignment of Kamehameha Highway at Laniakea on Oahu.

HDOT allocated $3 million for design of the estimated $65 million realignment and added the project to the state's Transportation Improvement Program. These actions will help state officials secure federal funding for the project.

A full realignment option would bend Kamehameha from Laniakea to Chun's Reef and add two access roads. This option would require community support for HDOT to erect guardrails on the existing highway during construction.

If the community were to resist guardrails, HDOT's other option would be to build a "wiggle road," a smaller realignment that slightly moves the highway inland, at an estimated cost of $8 million.
Tennessee - Amtrak and state officials are discussing a new passenger route from Atlanta to Nashville, which could include a stop in Chattanooga.

Chattanooga previously had two train stations: the Terminal Station and the Union Depot. Terminal Station is now part of a hotel and entertainment complex, while Union Depot was demolished in the early 1970s. Rail stops at the city have been discussed in the past, but none have been developed.

Officials say that the new passenger line is a long-range goal, and it depends heavily on approval of the upcoming Surface Transportation bill. This piece of federal legislation is expected to be voted on in the spring.

State officials are interested in the project, but it will likely take four to five years to develop.
   View our Government Contracting Pipeline and Texas Government Insider newsletter archives
Westhill High School
Connecticut - Officials at the city of Stamford are weighing options for entering a public-private partnership (P3) to construct and maintain five new district schools.

The city director's proposal calls for a private partner to be selected by April or May. Four of the five schools - Hart Magnet School, Roxbury Elementary School, Cloonan Middle School, and Toquam Magnet School- would be scheduled to open by 2022. The fifth campus, Westhill High School, would open by 2024. Under the plan, the city would rebuild new schools on existing school sites.

City and school officials are considering a P3 to create adequate space for enrollment growth and address a decades-old maintenance backlog that includes mold issues in more than half of the district's 21 public school buildings.

They also are developing a P3 model that would involve a sale-leaseback in which the land ownership would revert back to the city at the conclusion of the lease.

The private partner would be responsible for demolition of existing buildings, development of new schools including site remediation, maintenance of all grounds and facilities, and all capital improvements over the lives of the buildings.
Illinois - Niles Park District and the village of Niles are partnering on a $14 million expansion to transform Golf Mill Park into a destination park capable of hosting large festival events.

Planners envision doubling the park's size to add new features such as tennis, pickleball, and basketball courts, a soccer field, a playground, picnic grove, public art, bike parking, and shelters. A large pond and stormwater detention vaults would mitigate flooding and reduce pollution.

Formerly a bank property, a city-owned site adjacent to the park would be used for the expansion.
Concept art for redevelopment of The Diamond 
Virginia - Redevelopment of a 60-acre site that includes The Diamond baseball stadium and its surrounding city-owned land is being considered by city of Richmond leaders.

The city is working on an updated master planning initiative called Richmond 300, a years-long study examining the redevelopment of the baseball stadium site and nearby city properties.

Developers have shown interest in the site over recent years, with many hoping that the city will issue a request for proposals (RFP) in the near future. Officials say the Richmond 300 study will help shape the master plan and form the basis for a future RFP, though there is not yet an established timetable for such a request.
Little Cottonwood Canyon
Utah - To relieve congestion in Little Cottonwood Canyon, the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) is conducting a feasibility study which will examine several modes of transportation that will reduce the number of cars on the road.

Enhanced bus service is being considered, as well as aerial systems such as gondolas, cable cars, and tramways that would carry people up and down the canyon, and possibly even between canyons.
UDOT is still in the early stages of gathering information including seeking public input.

An environmental impact study will follow. Once that is complete, transportation options will be designed and presented to the public for feedback.
March 2-4, 2020 / Dallas, Texas
The Public-Private Partnership (P3) Conference & Expo unites leaders from states and localities, higher education institutions, and public agencies, with industry to discuss infrastructure challenges faced nationwide; and how innovations in project delivery, procurement, life cycle asset management, and technology can help solve issues.

Join us at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel, 400 N. Olive St., for the year's biggest P3 event as we explore the future of public infrastructure and advancements in the P3 model. Over 150 presenters will discuss active and upcoming projects, sharing key insights for leveraging private sector resources for public infrastructure.

Our 2020 program will present a series of keynotes, case studies, panels, workshops, and diverse networking opportunities designed for attendees to deepen their understanding on the value proposition of P3s, and the role they can play in the delivery of essential public infrastructure.

Connect with over 1,350 participating delegates from around the world for in-depth learning, business development, and networking opportunities with an elite mix of owners, developers, contractors, and service providers engaged in public-private partnerships.

The P3 Conference is designed for all levels in the market including those beginning to explore P3s and seeking to better understand where alternative and accelerated project delivery methods can be applicable.

Advance registration deadline is January 31. Sign up today!

New Jersey - The Rutgers University board of governors appointed Jonathan Holloway as president of the university on January 21. Holloway is provost of Northwestern University. He will begin his Rutgers tenure on July 1, succeeding President Robert Barchi. Before joining Northwestern, Holloway was the dean of Yale College. 

Georgia - Gov. Brian Kemp nominated Jannine Miller to be state planning director at the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT). She currently serves as senior adviser to U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao. Once confirmed by the State House and Senate transportation committees, Miller will assume the role vacated by Jay Roberts in September 2019.

Illinois - The village of Niles named John Melaniphy as its new director of economic development. He most recently served lead economic development for the village of Wheeling, Illinois. Melaniphy succeeds Ross Klicker who accepted a position with the village of Brookfield, Illinois, in October 2019.

Pennsylvania - Marilyn Wells took over as chancellor of Penn State Brandywine on January 13 from interim chancellor Cynthia Lightfoot, director of academic affairs. Lightfoot filled in after former chancellor Kirstin Woolever retired in July 2019. Wells previously served as provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Minnesota State University.

Colorado - The state of Colorado selected Alex Pettit to be its chief technology officer. He previously served as chief information officer for the states of Oregon and Oklahoma. Pettit also is Oregon's chief enterprise architect for the Secretary of State. 

Kentucky - The city of Danville appointed David Milliron as city manager on January 13. He takes over for former city manager Ron Scott who retired on December 31, 2019. Milliron previously served as city manager of Hogansville, Georgia.
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