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Valencia College close to hiring planner-architect for Poinciana

The Osceola campus and future Poinciana campus of Valencia College are highlighted on this map.
The Osceola campus and future Poinciana campus of Valencia College are highlighted on this map. (Valencia College)

Valencia College is close to completing a deal with Osceola County for the site of its future Poinciana campus, should finalize the hiring of DLR Group as master planner and architect in July, and will seek a construction manager by year's end, a lead executive for the school told GrowthSpotter.

Nineteen acres of land at the intersection of Pleasant Hill and Reaves roads will be donated by the county to Valencia, a sub-parcel that's part of the county's larger College Station property. The college is currently surveying the sub-parcel and master parcel, which has the proper zoning and land-use amendments in place already for the college.

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That land contract should go before Valencia College's board soon for approval, said Allen Bottorff, assistant vice president of facilities. It is currently open pasture without much tree clearing that will need to be done.

Valencia officials announced in mid-June they expect a new $22 million, 60,000-square-foot Poinciana campus to open in Fall 2017, after the State Legislature appropriated $11.9 million to pay for half of the construction.

Osceola County is obligated by contract to bring the sub-parcel to a pad-ready state, and Valencia will probably have the county start whatever dirt removal work is needed about six months in advance of its projected construction start in August 2016.

Valencia just got its board's approval to hire DLR Group as master planner and architect for the Poinciana campus and should finalize a contract with them in July for up to $1.9 million, Bottorff said.

He expects DLR to begin master planning by mid-July for both the total 19-acre property, and the 60,000-square-foot Building 1.

Bottorff expects Valencia to put out a request for qualifications for a construction manager around December and hopes to have one chosen by January 2016. Once on board, a construction manager can review designs from DLR and offer construction cost estimates.

Bottorff would like to see design for Building 1 done by June 2016. The college could then lock in a guaranteed maximum price with the construction manager and open bids for subcontractors by July, and then begin construction in August 2016.

"That could be dirt-turning to start in August while the building construction may not start until later," he said. "But assuming we get design done in May or June, we could be coming out of the ground on this timeline."

The Fall 2017 opening is contingent on receiving the rest of the money from state funding, Bottorff said.

Valencia has just over half the funding now from the state for its $22 million budget on Poinciana but won't pursue a guaranteed maximum price until the college knows where the rest of the money is coming from.

It's aiming for the other half to be appropriated by the state and is counting on a legislative session in early 2016 making that funding clear by March, Bottorff said.

"If we don't have that funding (come from the state) it will be up to our district board of trustees to decide if we fund this ourselves, or wait with design in hand another year for state funding," he said. "Usually, if the state leverages itself this much on the front end they will come through with the second half of funding."

bmoser@growthspotter.com or (407) 420-5685

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