October 7, 2020
For Immediate Release
Office of Communications
Board of Education to vote on proposed developer at Oct. 21 meeting
UPPER MARLBORO, MD — Today, Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) Chief Executive Officer Dr. Monica Goldson announced the next stage of the school system’s innovative and collaborative school construction program, a move designed to address rapid enrollment growth amid aging school buildings.
Prince George’s County Education and Community Partners — which is comprised of Fengate Capital Management Ltd. and Gilbane Development Company, Inc., Gilbane Building Company, Stantec and Honeywell — will be recommended to the Prince George’s County Board of Education to lead the Alternative Construction Finance Program, a public-private partnership. The Board is expected to vote on the proposed developer during its Thursday, Oct. 21 meeting.
With the Board’s approval, Fengate Capital Management Ltd., Gilbane Development Company, Inc., and Gilbane Building Company will serve as the design-builder; Stantec as the architect and design lead; and Honeywell as the lead services provider. The design-build team of Gilbane and Stantec combines the expertise of the nation’s top K-12 schools builder and designer with services provided by Honeywell through local school-based staff.
The new schools will result in upgraded learning environments for approximately 8,000 students. If approved, over the next four years the developer will build the new Drew-Freeman, Hyattsville, Kenmoor and Walker Mill middle schools in addition to an Adelphi area middle school and a south county kindergarten through eighth grade school. Under the normal process, it would take at least 12 years to build the new facilities. All schools are scheduled to be ready for occupancy July 2024.
“By taking this non-traditional route, Prince George’s County Public Schools is showing that students should not be forced to wait longer than necessary for high-quality learning environments,” said Dr. Goldson. “I am proud to lead the first school district in the nation that seeks to build and maintain schools through this innovative approach. Patchwork replacements prevent our buildings from functioning effectively. I am happy to have Prince George’s County Education and Community Partners join our program as we modernize our aging infrastructure to meet the 21st century needs of our students.”
Board Chair Dr. Alvin Thornton said, “The construction of much-needed modern schools for the children of Prince George’s County is a high priority for the Board of Education. The Board has actively engaged with Dr. Goldson, County Executive Alsobrooks and the County Council in the development of the innovative alternative construction and financing initiative, and looks forward to its final consideration of the recommendation of Prince George’s County Education and Community Partners as the developer during its October 21, 2020 meeting. This ACF initiative is an essential part of the Board and Dr. Goldson’s long-term student development and facilities enhancement strategic plan.”
“Our children deserve high-quality learning environments that respect their dignity, so I am proud that through this partnership we are showing them our commitment to their success,” said Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks. “When I took office, we promised innovative solutions in our local government, and that is exactly why I was proud to advocate for and help secure the passage of our public-private partnership legislation during the 2019 session of the Maryland General Assembly. As a government, we will continue to make the critical investments needed to ensure all children in our County receive a quality education.”
“The selection of a development team for this groundbreaking school construction model is a critical step forward toward employing creative strategies that build schools to meet the needs of our students,” said Prince George’s County Council Chair Todd M. Turner (D-District 4). “Today’s announcement is part of a working partnership developed over several years with Dr. Goldson, the Board of Education, County Executive Alsobrooks and state lawmakers, and the Council celebrates our joint commitment to this first of its kind school construction model in the U.S. and our state of Maryland. The Council will continue working with the school system and County, its oversight and budgetary processes, as negotiations for this important project move forward.”
“Prince George’s County Education and Community Partners is fully committed to leveraging this new multi-school project to enhance the quality of life of the residents, workers and communities of Prince George’s County,” said Darin Early, Principal-in-Charge for Gilbane Development Company.
This first-of-its-kind contracting process doubles state small and minority business inclusion goals by ensuring local and minority business participation through each part of the process.
Prince George’s County Education and Community Partners will allocate at least 30 percent of the total contract value, approximately $225 million, to local and minority-owned businesses over the life of the program. An estimated $135 million is expected to be allocated in the first four years. Additional community benefits will include the development and implementation of business and workforce development programs, student internships, apprenticeships and scholarships.
PGCPS estimates this agreement will stimulate Prince George’s County economy and add approximately 4,100 jobs during the design-build phase of the project.
Through collaborative efforts by PGCPS, Prince George’s County Government, Prince George’s County Council and the County’s Legislative Delegation in Annapolis, the Maryland General Assembly approved initial legislation in 2018 to establish a public-private partnership (P3) model, also known as the ACF program, for school construction in the County. As a result of work led by the Alternative Construction Funding Workgroup, a multi-member coordinating group made up of the County partners created by the Prince George’s County Council in 2018, the General Assembly passed additional legislation in 2019 to support the ACF program.
Under the ACF program, a private developer designs, builds and finances the new facilities as well as maintains them for over 30 years. At the end of the 30-year term, each school is expected to avoid major maintenance costs for another 15 years, resulting in additional savings to PGCPS.
The ACF program is one of many steps in a multi-year, county-wide project to address aging school infrastructure. The PGCPS Department of Capital Programs will continue to oversee the replacement and development of new schools on a parallel construction path that uses traditional funding sources.