PBC Board Approves Design/Build Teams for the 2013 School Investment Program

Diverse Teams Commit to Workforce Diversity Goals and Requirements

Mimi Simon, Public Building Commission, (312) 744-9277

CHICAGO – Today, the Board of Commissioners of the Public Building Commission of Chicago (PBC) approved the appointment of 17 Design/Build teams to support the 2013 School Investment Program on behalf of Chicago Public Schools.

After numerous outreach sessions, which included outreach to members of both the construction industry and the design community, the PBC received 23 submissions for 37 Design/Build teams interested in competing for the work to renovate 100 school buildings in advance of the new school year. 

“The PBC was very thorough in their outreach and communications efforts, and it was a privilege for Chatham Business Association to co-host and present this capacity building RFP to the various minority-owned architects, engineers and contractors.  I would like to thank our partners at Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (“DCEO”) for accepting our invitation to provide technical assistance on this small business friendly contracting opportunity to the design and build teams.  DCEO identified additional resources in the form of energy grants, training dollars in partnership with CPS, and introduced their venture capital program, as a complement to our microlending initiative, as an additional financial option to the contractors.  Many of the contractors expressed gratitude for the sharing of information provided at the various outreach events, and we were glad to see these businesses either led–or were part of a team–that responded to this RFP opportunity,” said Melinda Kelly, Executive Director of Chatham Business Association Small Business Development Inc.

Larry Bullock, President/CEO of Suburban Minority Contractors Association “praised the unique outreach on behalf of PBC staff and the significance of this innovative approach of design and build that connected small, medium and large general contractors with very diverse professional services which enhanced the procurement process.”  Bullock further added that “Mayor Emanuel’s mandate in the PBC contract awards process is a breath of fresh air and will insure continued diversity in public construction procurement in the Chicago Public School system.”

The PBC grouped the 100 school buildings into 17 discrete projects.  These projects will bring much needed improvements to the affected schools including air conditioning to every classroom, libraries, security upgrades, enhanced food service and dining facilities, ADA upgrades, computer and STEM laboratories, and aesthetic improvements to make these schools welcoming and inclusive.

The 17 successful teams approved by the Board today reflect a remarkable level of lead minority and women owned business participation.  Each team has committed to meeting or exceeding 30% minority owned business participation and 5% women owned business participation throughout the project delivery.  More noteworthy, 100% of the successful Design/Build teams have significant minority and/or woman owned businesses participation at the prime builder or design lead level.  Further, each team has committed to reflect the diversity of the City of Chicago by meeting or exceeding workforce diversity goals, community and City residency hiring requirements in addition to hiring CPS students as interns for each project. 

Beyond the M/WBE lead Design/Build partners, an additional 200 M/WBE subcontractors and consultants are participating.

“Through the community outreach efforts of the PBC over the past several weeks, we were able to garner interest from Design/Build teams that reflect the rich diversity of the City of Chicago. I am happy to note that every team appointed today includes meaningful leadership by a minority or woman owned prime builder or design lead. Further, each team brings forth a strong commitment to the local and diverse workforce goals and requirements that will put community folks to work,” said PBC board member Dr. Byron Brazier.

The PBC has scheduled four job fairs throughout the City in the coming weeks to support a local and diverse workforce.  The Chicago Urban League and Trinal have both been engaged by the PBC to support these efforts and facilitate these job fairs and business outreach.

Design efforts will begin immediately on contract award and construction on the 2013 School Investment Program will begin after the CPS school year ends for summer break.

Additionally, the PBC board approved the purchase of modular classrooms at six schools to complete CPS’ new full-day kindergarten initiative.

The Public Building Commission of Chicago manages construction and renovation projects for the City of Chicago and its sister agencies. Mayor Rahm Emanuel serves as the PBC’s Chairman. Erin Lavin Cabonargi serves as the Executive Director of the PBC. Additional information about the PBC and its projects can be found at www.pbcchicago.com.