SAN FRANCISCO—The Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) has announced the selection of the Hensel Phelps firm as the construction manager at risk (CMAR) for the new Woodland courthouse. The CMAR method entails a commitment to deliver the project within a guaranteed maximum price. Hensel Phelps submitted the winning proposal to provide preconstruction services, planning, and construction management services, which will include solicitation of bids from subcontractors.
“I am very pleased with the selection of Hensel Phelps, and we are excited to be working with such a distinguished construction firm,” said Jim Perry, Court Executive Officer. “Hensel Phelps is a local company with offices in West Sacramento. They have history here in Yolo County, and recently built the Yolo County Health Services building in Woodland. The added value of knowing our local contractors and this community is significant.”
In business for more than 70 years, Hensel Phelps has completed numerous California public projects, including courthouses, and is consistently ranked among the top general contractors and construction managers in the nation by McGraw-Hill’s Engineering News-Record. Two of the firm’s California public projects recently won McGraw-Hill Construction’s 2010 Best of the Best Awards, a national competition that recognizes design and construction excellence.
The AOC uses a CMAR for delivery of major capital-outlay projects such as the new Woodland courthouse. The competitive selection process factors in qualitative criteria, such as the firm’s experience, as well as the contractor’s fee. The CMAR is retained early in the project for preconstruction services. Following a competitive bid for all subcontracts and the approval to award, the CMAR becomes the general contractor for the project. For this competitive selection, the AOC received 12 submissions and conducted interviews of the 5 most qualified firms, from which Hensel Phelps was selected.
The bidding process for subcontractors is expected to take place in late 2012, with prequalification preceding that. Selection criteria for the project CMAR included an evaluation of the firm’s plan for outreach to local subcontractors, ensuring that qualified local firms are fully aware of the bidding opportunity, process, and timeline. Local outreach will begin immediately. All qualified subcontractors, lower tier subcontractors, and suppliers will be considered.
The first phase of architectural design for the new courthouse, by the firm of Fentress Architects in association with Dreyfuss & Blackford Architects, is nearly completed. The five-story building, to be located on the south side of Main Street between Fifth and Sixth Streets, will consolidate court operations from seven facilities into one central building housing 14 courtrooms. The 163,000-square-foot building includes significant improvements in security, such as separate hallways for the public, court staff, and in-custody defendants, as well as better seismic safety, access, and efficiency for staff and visitors. The project will incorporate forward-thinking elements of sustainable design and is expected to qualify for a LEED Gold rating from the U.S. Green Building Council. Numerous energy-saving features will make the courthouse more economical to operate over time.
Construction is scheduled to begin in early 2013 and will be conducted with mitigation measures in place for air quality, hazardous materials, noise, and other environmental considerations, as specified in the project’s final study under the California Environmental Quality Act. The project is scheduled for completion in 2015. More information about the project is available on the California Courts website at www.henselphelps.com