Top industry leaders break ground on six new schools as part of innovative alternative construction financing project
The Prince George’s County Education & Community Partners (PGCECP) broke ground this week on six new community schools as part of an innovative, multi-school delivery program for Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS). Through this alternative construction financing project, top industry leaders will work together with district and community partners to create 3,000 jobs and build state-of-the-art school facilities for more than 8,000 students and families.
The PGCECP consortium comprises:
- Developer: Fengate Asset Management (Fengate) and Gilbane Development Company
- Design-Build Contractor: Gilbane Building Company
- Designer & Architect of Record: Stantec
- Services Provider: Honeywell Building Technologies
The consortium will address growing student enrollment, a middle school seat deficit, and rapidly aging school buildings through the Public-Private Partnership (P3) delivery approach. As a result, Prince George’s County will become the first public school system in the nation to leverage a full-scope alternative financing model to design, build, finance and maintain a multi-school K-12 construction program.
“It is exciting to be at this milestone, the ground-breaking for this vital project, as we are eager to see construction underway for this much-needed infrastructure,” said Mac Bell, Managing Director, Infrastructure Investments, Fengate. “We are honored to partner with PGCPS to deliver state-of-the-art schools for the students, educators and school communities in Prince George’s County and, on an ongoing basis, we are committed to ensuring the benefits of this project extend beyond the buildings, in support of scholarships, apprenticeships and community businesses.”
“At Gilbane, we have built a strong record of success over our 150-year history, but it’s critical social infrastructure projects like this where our development experience and commitment to community economic development run deepest,” said Edward Broderick, president and chief executive officer of Gilbane Development Company.
“This partnership is creating good-paying construction jobs today, investment into the local economy for years to come, and will ultimately result in state-of-the-art learning environments for students and families,” said Paul Choquette, Executive Vice President of Gilbane Building Company. “We’re proud to be a part of this initiative, championed and led by county and community leaders. Students deserve safe, healthy, and sustainable schools – they deserve the very best – and that’s exactly what we intend to deliver.”
Plans for the five new middle schools and one K-8 school promise engaging learning environments that exemplify what is possible when government and education leaders work together toward novel financing solutions. Approximately $174 million in savings is expected in deferred maintenance and construction costs, compared to a traditional construction procurement model.
“The collaboration of our consortium with the school district and community has led us to this significant groundbreaking milestone,” said Laura Sachtleben, Education Sector Leader for Stantec. “Together, we are creating learning environments that will engage, challenge, and inspire the students of Prince George’s County. It has taken a tremendous effort and partnership to quickly reach this point, and we are excited to be involved in redefining education facility delivery with this new model.”
“This is an exciting moment for the Prince George’s County community as it means it’s one step closer to new, vibrant learning environments for its students,” said Keith Fisher, vice president and general manager of Services for Honeywell Building Technologies. “Our team looks forward to creating a seamless facility management experience that allows the Prince George’s County Public Schools team to have better insight into facility performance to drive continued improvement.”
Groundbreakings for all six schools are slated for June 28 through June 30. All properties will be turned over to the consortium on July 1 to begin construction for delivery by summer of 2023.
It typically takes seven years from planning to building a school. Given present overcrowding at the middle school level and many aging schools, alternative financing offered an opportunity to cut that time in half to deliver schools long overdue.
“We have made tremendous strides in the area of long-range facility planning to advance from a capital program of primarily emergency repair projects towards a major modernization program with a plan to address each older facility in our inventory over the next 20 years,” said Dr. Monica Goldson, Chief Executive Officer, Prince George’s County Public Schools.. “The Blueprint Schools initiative helps us accelerate delivery of new schools and modernizations for safe, sustainable educational facilities to fully support 21st century instruction for our students, staff and community.”
The project also features a commitment to community investment and economic stimulus, including guaranteed procurement of at least 30 percent of total eligible costs of the program to minority-owned businesses, community-based enterprises and community-based small businesses and creation of county-based jobs.
“We are Prince George’s Proud that our school system can be a model for the nation in school construction as we work to replace our aging infrastructure,” said County Executive Angela Alsobrooks. “Greatness grows in Prince George’s County, and our bright and talented children deserve high-quality learning environments that are befitting of their dignity. With this innovative partnership, we are making the critical investments needed to help develop our County’s next generation of leaders.”
PGCPS, the second-largest school system in the state, has the second-oldest buildings in Maryland. More than half of the 208 schools are over 50 years old. For more information on the PGCPS Blueprint Schools initiative, visit www.pgcpsblueprintschools.com.