Beyond Risk: Motivators for Turnkey Delivery - Speed
Mary Ellen Henderson Middle School
Mary Ellen Henderson Middle School, a 131,000-square-foot school featuring technologically advanced, flexible learning environments, was the first project awarded in Virginia to build an educational facility under the “Public Private Educational Facility and Infrastructure Act of 2002.” In desperate need of a new school and unable to identify a viable site to acquire, Falls Church City Public Schools entered into an agreement with Edgemoor to provide turnkey development services, including site selection, program development, zoning, design, and construction of a new facility that houses grades five through seven. Edgemoor worked with Falls Church to determine the most feasible site and proposed alternative financing structures to reduce project costs and the City’s debt burden. In addition to classrooms, the school features a cafeteria/auditorium, gymnasium, art lab, library, science and computer rooms, and a media production area. By avoiding the costs and time impacts from acquiring a new property for the school, the school system saved two years of acquisition and entitlement efforts (and the risk of not obtaining a zoning approval) and close to $10 million against their original expectations. Funding pre-development work with project financing allowed the project to start earlier, and strategic development activities such as site entitlement and permitting approaches, utility availability coordination, and fast-track procurements were integrated into turnkey solution to accelerate pre-construction, and design-build to reduce cost and accelerate delivery. Thinking outside the box delivered a new middle school for the City of Falls Church faster and less expensively than they ever imagined.