January 11, 2021
For Immediate Release
UPPER MARLBORO, Md. — Today, Prince George's County Public Schools (PGCPS) Chief Executive Officer Dr. Monica Goldson and the Prince George’s County Education & Community Partners (PGCECP) announced the creation of a $1 million endowed fund to support students and educators, along with student internships, mentoring opportunities and apprenticeships valued at $4.7 million, as part of the school system’s Alternative Construction Finance Program.
This announcement follows commercial and financial close for the project. Formally known as the Blueprint Schools, the agreement between Prince George’s County Public Schools and PGCECP – a consortium of Fengate Asset Management, Gilbane Development Company, Gilbane Building Company, Stantec and Honeywell – was finalized in mid-December.
The project will build six new schools by July 2023, an innovative approach to address aging schools. Through the initiative, PGCECP will build, design and maintain new Drew-Freeman, Hyattsville, Kenmoor and Walker Mill middle schools, as well as a new middle school and K-8 school in the Adelphi and southern areas of the county, supporting approximately 8,000 students.
The Blueprint Schools initiative, which uses a first-of-its kind delivery model for a U.S. public school system, is designed to build new schools faster, cutting the delivery time in half with lower construction costs and preventative maintenance. Other community benefits include the 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 that will serve as a much-needed economic stimulus.
“It is vital that we continuously invest in our students’ future and today’s announcement will allow us to do just that,” said Dr. Monica Goldson, Chief Executive Officer. “Throughout this process, Prince George’s County Public Schools has remained committed to our goal of supporting our students at every stage of their educational experience, ensuring they have every tool needed for success. We cannot afford to wait another 10 years to provide our students, teachers and communities with new state-of-the-art facilities. I look forward to working with Prince George’s County Education & Community Partners to complete an investment that is long overdue.”
“We are Prince George’s Proud that the school system’s Alternative Construction Finance Program is already producing excellent benefits to our students and teachers,” said Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks. “This new endowment fund will provide critical internships, apprenticeships and other opportunities for our young people, preparing them to successfully enter the workforce or college.”
“The County Council welcomes this next critical step toward employing creative strategies to build six new schools in the County to meet the needs of our students and communities,” said Council Chair Calvin S. Hawkins II (At-Large). “We are excited to celebrate the community benefits of this unique public-private partnership which is providing important educational and economic opportunities as part of the groundbreaking Alternative Construction Finance Program.”
“This is an important step toward realizing new critical school improvements for Prince George’s County while offering new educational resources to support its students,” said Darin Early, Managing Director, Public Private Partnerships, Gilbane Development Company and Principal-in-Charge, Prince George's County Education & Community Partners. “Gilbane Development Company and Gilbane Building Company are honored to be a part of this innovative partnership that will modernize schools for 8,000 students while driving local participation and apprenticeship opportunities, and boosting economic inclusion.”
“We are pleased to have reached commercial and financial close on this critical project and to be a part of the new scholarship, internships and apprenticeships program announced today,” said Mac Bell, Managing Director, Infrastructure Investments, Fengate. “We are honored to partner with PGCPS to deliver this much-needed infrastructure for Prince George’s County and its students, and we are committed to ensuring the benefits of this project extend beyond the buildings, in support of student development and community businesses through the endowment fund and work and training opportunities.”
The scholarship fund will be administered and managed by the Excellence in Education Foundation for PGCPS.
Other community benefits include the 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 that will serve as a much-needed economic stimulus. In addition, approximately $174 million in savings is expected in deferred maintenance and construction costs.
Prince George’s County Public Schools, 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.