An artist's rendering of how buildings could look on UCF's downtown campus.
An artist's rendering of how buildings could look on UCF's downtown campus. (UCF)

The University of Central Florida posted a Request for Proposals (RFP) for its Downtown Campus project online Wednesday, seeking an architect/engineer and construction manager for work on campus infrastructure, a new academic building and renovation of the existing Center for Emerging Media, valued at $65 million or more.

Highlights in the RFP project description include a call for demonstrable experience in designing and building urban academic facilities, and the ability to work fast to meet a projected opening of August 2018 for the campus.

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An information and Q&A session will be held April 5, 8:30 am, at the Center for Emerging Media, at 500 W. Livingston St. The deadline for submissions is April 25, at 5 pm.

The RFP comes one week after Gov. Rick Scott announced on March 15 he would not veto the $20 million in public funding planned for the campus in the state's annual budget, the Orlando Sentinel previously reported.

Scott is expected to sign the state budget into law in June. UCF will contribute $20 million of its own funds, and has $16 million of a required $20 million in private donations promised thus far.

The campus RFP includes the construction of a new, 165,000-square-foot academic building and a 20,000-square-foot renovation of the existing Center for Emerging Media (CEM).

The total project cost for the academic building will be approximately $60 million for planning, construction, infrastructure, landscape/hardscape and furnishings/equipment.

The new building will consist of general education classrooms, library/study spaces, offices, and support spaces for UCF and Valencia College. The project will include the infrastructure design and construction for the entire site, as well as landscape/hardscape design for the areas surrounding the buildings.

The renovation to the CEM will cost approximately $5 million, and add additional general education classrooms, collaborative student learning environments, and additional offices to support the downtown campus.

The university's RFP also follows Ustler Development, master developer of Creative Village, telling GrowthSpotter on March 15 it will move fast over the next 60 days to decide which handful of parcels they'll self-develop to support UCF Downtown, which they'll offer for purchase to others, and what real estate broker they'll hire to market the land.

Major building systems, including mechanical and building envelope, will be commissioned by an independent consultant with whom the Architect/Engineer and Construction Manager must plan and coordinate, according to the RFP.

The building must achieve LEED Gold Certification, as the campus aspires to achieve LEED Neighborhood Development certification in partnership with surrounding Creative Village development. Proposing teams shall include at least one LEED-certified design professional, who will work with the University's LEED administration

UCF's intention is for firms in the disciplines of architecture and construction management to submit proposals as teams. The university will only accept one proposal from each exclusive team.

Architects and CMs can't be on more than one team that submits a proposal, though consulting engineers and other professionals can be on multiple teams.

AE/CM teams submitting proposals will have to speak to how they will employ and utilize service disabled veteran-owned small businesses (SDVOSB) and Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise (MWBE).

A/E applicants must provide details on five past projects they've done that are similar in size, complexity and scope to what may be required for UCF Downtown. They also must describe their current workload and staffing ability to take on the UCF job, detail experience and ability working with higher education clients, and provide bios on all personnel.

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CM applicants must answer the same questions as A/E applicants, and answer a number of job-specific qualifications, like what experience they have in creating academic facilities in urban environments, experience coordinating with multiple stakeholders, and how they can accelerate the project to meet an aggressive open date of August 2018.

The selected A/E and CM will provide program verification, design, construction documents, and construction administration services for the project, with a two-year warranty provided. Program verification, civil engineering, and interior design services will be part of the basic services provided.

The contract for CM services will cover two phases. The first is pre-construction services, including value engineering, constructability analyses, development of a cost model, estimating and development of a Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP) at complete construction documents.

If the GMP is accepted, phase two (construction) will make the CM solely responsible for performing the construction of the project, and publicly bid trade contracts.

Both the A/E and CM applicants must be properly registered to practice in Florida.

Williams Company is one local general contractor that will be reviewing the RFP requirements and project timeline in the coming days, said Lee McNeil, head of business development.

"A lot will depend on our projected resource availability at the time the new work is scheduled to start," he said. "We did the work at the existing Center for Emerging Media for UCF and are building the new downtown Parramore K-8 school for OCPS nearby, so it is a project that has our interest."

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at bmoser@growthspotter.com, (407) 420-5685 or @bobmoser333. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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