WHAT IS THE PPEA?
PPEA is the Public-Private Education Facilities and Infrastructure Act. It was passed in 2002 by the Virginia General Assembly to allow localities to form partnerships with the private sector. Through these partnerships, the public and private sectors work together to complete major projects, like building new schools. To date, hundreds of successful PPEA projects have been completed in Virginia.
The PPEA is an alternative procurement tool (alternative to Design-Bid, or Design-Bid-Build) that provides a consistent and predictable method of delivering important public projects. Public-private partnerships enable public bodies to partner with private entities to bring private sector expertise to bear on public projects and encourage innovative approaches to financing construction and renovation.
HAVE WE USED THE PPEA PROCESS BEFORE?
FCCPS has used the PPEA procurement process on each of the last four school projects:
Construction of Mary Ellen Henderson Middle School
New educational wing at Thomas Jefferson Elementary
Renovation and expansion at Jessie Thackrey Preschool
PPEA PHASE 1: CONCEPTUAL PROPOSAL PHASE
After issuing the RFP around November 30, 2017, the process enters a phase we call the "Conceptual Proposal Phase". During this phase the City and Schools will be preparing to evaluate the proposals received in response to the RFP.
This will include opportunities for community involvement and the selection of outside experts and advisers to guide the review. It is anticipated that experts in municipal finance, commercial real estate, school construction, as well as legal advisers, will be engaged to assist in the review.
Conceptual phase proposals will provide details about the firm, its qualifications and experiences with similar projects, a preliminary scope of work, preliminary design and layout possibilities, initial financing ideas, and descriptions about the benefits to the City and Schools.
Also during this time, a Campus Project Interactive Briefing on the RFP will be held on December 13, 2017, at 7:30 p.m. in the Mary Ellen Henderson Cafetorium. This is to gather further civic input as we continue to fine-tune the proposal developed ahead of the Referendum.
The City Council and School Board, utilizing the expert retained to assist them, will review all conceptual phase proposals and create a "short-list" of firms to invite to participate in the Detailed Design Phase.
PPEA PHASE 2: DETAILED DESIGN PHASE
The short-listed firms will then have approximately 90 additional days to develop Detailed Design proposals in response to the issuance of a Request for Detailed Design Proposals. This second RFP will ask the proposers to refine their conceptual designs and begin to lock in on the details of the proposal to include specific costs, designs, scope, and importantly, schedule.
The City Council and School Board will engage the same, and possibly additional, experts to assist them with the review of the Detailed Design responses.
Once a proposal meets the goals of the community, the City and Schools will begin negotiating a Comprehensive Agreement with the selected firm.
WHEN WILL PROPOSALS BE PUBLICALLY AVAILABLE?
All portions of the proposals received will be posted to the Campus Project webpage within 10 days of receipt of the proposals except for those portions specifically provided "confidential" status under the PPEA and/or the Virginia Freedom of Information Act. The RFP requires each proposer to submit an Executive Summary of their proposal that will not be confidential. Other portions of the proposal (financial statements of the firm, for example) may not be publically available.
WHAT IS CONSIDERED 'CONFIDENTIAL' AND WHY?
Due to the competitive negotiation nature of the PPEA process, the firms that respond to the RFP are likely to include material and information that they deem proprietary and confidential. It is understandable that the firms will be very interested in protecting any material that could alter the competitive nature of the process. In addition, the process of moving from concepts to a comprehensive agreement will require significant negotiation that if conducted in open meetings would negatively impact the bargaining power of the City.
The PPEA and Virginia FOIA allow for the City and Schools to work with proposers on an agreement about what materials will be protected as "confidential" and what materials will not be protected. The City and Schools will make the final determination as to what, if any, components of the proposal will not be available to the public. If proposers do not agree with the determination made by the City and Schools the proposer will be allowed to withdraw their proposal.