PBC Takes a Major Step in Expanding Opportunities for Smaller Contractors

Board Approves the Pre-Qualification of General Contractors Classes B-E

Mary Pat Witry, Public Building Commission, (312) 744-9961

The Public Building Commission (PBC) announced the Pre-Qualification of 25 licensed General Contractors Classes B through E. After successful submission of their qualifications and experience, these firms are now pre-qualified to bid on future PBC projects.

“Today, the Board of Commissioners of the PBC took a major step in leading the charge to actively engage in capacity building within the general contracting community” said Felicia S. Davis, Executive Director of the PBC. “Traditionally, the PBC has exclusively pre-qualified Class A contractors which restricted smaller, minority and women-owned contractors’ participation in PBC work to the subcontracting level. We understand the importance of holding prime contracts for emerging firms and we are committed to increasing contracting opportunities so that smaller firms can expand their experience and grow.”

One of the PBC’s 2016 Initiatives is to directly affect capacity building within the contracting community. In March, the PBC issued a Request for Qualifications for General Contractors for all classes. The PBC conducted outreach to all classes of licensed contractors (defined, permitted, and regulated by the Department of Buildings) to encourage a wide-range of participation in this effort. As a result of the outreach efforts, the PBC hosted a Pre-Submission Conference and two Contractor Workshops attended by nearly 200 people. The PBC received over 65 responses from firms interested in serving as general contractors for the PBC.

“I appreciate the Executive Director’s decision to pre-qualify all classes of general contractors” said Rea Johnson, President of CREA Construction. “After working as a subcontractor on a PBC project in the past, CREA Construction is excited at the prospect of now serving as a prime contractor for the PBC. As both a minority and woman-owned company, we understand the opportunities represented by serving as a general contractor for a large, public agency; I believe this opportunity will help continue to grow my company.”

Before the PBC issues projects for bid to these contractors, the PBC will host an additional workshop for the newly pre-qualified firms to acclimate them to doing business with the PBC.

The PBC is the first municipal institution of the City of Chicago’s Sister Agencies to pre-qualify general contractors of all license classifications.

Find the list of Pre-Qualified General Contractors Types B-E here.


Other Measures passed by the PBC’s Board on June 14, 2016:
The Board approved a Partial Undertaking for development of the Richard J. Daley College Advanced Manufacturing Center Project, announced by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and City Colleges of Chicago (CCC), last week. This approval will allow the PBC to begin planning, programming, designing, and performing pre-construction activities for the Project. The preliminary schedule will include the completion of the Advanced Manufacturing Center slated to open in time for the fall 2018 semester.

The Board also approved the appointment of Tilton, Kelly + Bell, LLC (TKB) to provide Programming Architect services for the Richard J. Daley College Advanced Manufacturing Center Project. TKB, a Woman-owned Business Enterprise, is an established architectural firm with a broad range of experience with higher education clients, including City Colleges of Chicago.

The Board approved an Undertaking for the PBC to begin the design and construction of the renovation and expansion of the Whitney Young Branch Library. To be delivered on behalf of the Chicago Public Library, this Project will modernize the branch library, located in the heart of Chicago’s Chatham neighborhood.

Finally, during the Board Meeting Chairman Emanuel presented a resolution to outgoing PBC Commissioner Reverend Albert D. Tyson, III thanking him for his dedicated service to the Board.


About the Public Building Commission: 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. Felicia S. Davis serves as the Executive Director of the PBC. Additional information about the PBC and its projects can be found at www.pbcchicago.com. You can also follow the Public Building Commission of Chicago on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Flickr.