Using a hybrid P3 to deliver a state-of-the-art courthouse

Howard County, Maryland - The Howard County Circuit Courthouse lacked the space, security and technology to manage its growing court system. As the County planned a new facility, funding constraints led to a unique Public-Private Partnership for cost-effective project delivery.

11

months from RFP issuance to financial close, one of the fastest P3 procurements in U.S. history.

2nd

successful DBfOM P3 courthouse procurement in the U.S.

Challenge
The Howard County Circuit Courthouse lacked the space, security and technology capabilities to effectively manage its caseload. A new courthouse was needed, but funding constraints demanded a unique approach to financing the project.

Solution
The County entered a hybrid Public-Private Partnership (P3) called a design-build-finance-operate-maintain (DBfOM) that allowed for cost-effective construction. It chose Arcadis to act as the Owner’s Representative until occupancy in 2021.

Impact
•  11 months from RFP issuance to financial close, one of the fastest P3 procurements in U.S. history.
•  2nd successful DBfOM P3 courthouse procurement in the U.S.
•  P3 Awards - The awards included Gold for ‘Best Social Infrastructure Project’, Gold for ‘Best Financial Structure’, and Silver for ‘Government Agency of the Year’

The Howard County Circuit Courthouse hadn’t changed much since 1983, the last time it was renovated. That project created a complex of windowless, fragmented, overcrowded staff spaces that, if anything, hindered efficiency. When officials authorized an additional judgeship to handle a growing caseload, it was clear that the cramped courthouse needed upgrades.

County leaders sought ways to introduce additional space, stronger security measures and enhanced technology capabilities. Unsure whether to renovate or construct a new complex, they hired Arcadis to develop a Master Plan that included options for each.

After weighing the costs, the county decided to build a new courthouse on an alternate site. Unfortunately, funding constraints would prevent the County from issuing the bonds necessary to fully cover project costs. The most cost-effective option would be a P3 with partial County funding. During the P3 solicitation, Arcadis provided the technical and O&M requirements, met with proposers, and analyzed incoming proposals.

The P3 procurement was structured as a DBfOM delivery method. It’s a hybrid P3 model where the Project Company provides financing during construction and Howard County makes a milestone payment at occupancy to repay short-term construction costs. The Project Company will operate and maintain the facility for 30 years and receive an availability payment from the County. It was the 1st successful DBfOM P3 courthouse procurement since 2011, making it a landmark achievement for public buildings in the P3 space.

Construction started in June 2019. Arcadis will be the Owner’s Representative providing design and construction management. Services include design reviews, contract administration, quality assurance, budget tracking, schedule monitoring, construction documentation, change management and stakeholder coordination services until occupancy scheduled for July 2021.

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Outcomes

11

months from RFP issuance to financial close, one of the fastest P3 procurements in U.S. history.

2nd

successful DBfOM P3 courthouse procurement in the U.S.

P3

Awards - The awards included Gold for ‘Best Social Infrastructure Project’, Gold for ‘Best Financial Structure’, and Silver for ‘Government Agency of the Year’

Questions about this project

Bob Jones

Associate Vice President Ask me a question
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