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Sat, July 20

County: Tempe firm to head up new county facility

The Mohave County supervisors approved the selection of the Tempe firm Pinnacle One as owner's agent and manager for design and construction of the new $16 million county facility.

At the board meeting Monday, the supervisors approved a contract with Pinnacle One to build an administration and human services facility on 70 acres owned by the county at 600 West Beale St., adjacent to the new Mohave County Sheriff's Office.

The site was chosen, in part, because construction of additional county facilities at the site would result in significant financial benefit for Mohave County.

Infrastructure currently in place for the new sheriff's office will avoid duplication of communication, power, sewer and water infrastructure, according to the plan evaluation.

Pinnacle One was among 11 companies submitting proposals.

Three bidders were interviewed with "Pinnacle One" chosen with a bid of $472,725.

The county has chosen a design/build privatized lease-to-own plan as specified in the Arizona Revised Statutes Title 34.

Supervisor Pete Byers of Kingman said this type of project - in which Pinnacle One will oversee the building of the facility and then lease it back to the county - is a first for Mohave County.

This is the same strategy the state used to build Arizona Department of Environmental Quality and the Department of Administration projects, Mohave County Manager Ron Walker said.

The county plans to have a 15-year lease.

At the end of that time, ownership reverts to Mohave County.

"With the cost of capital where is it is today, it makes good sense to make the best use of those market costs to meet the county's long-term needs and pay for the lease-back from annual sales tax cash flow," Walker said.

The new facility will cost $16 million to $17 million.

By the end of 2004, a projected total of $16 million will be available in the Capital Facilities Fund derived from the county's quarter-cent sales.

Pinnacle One will not construct the building but will perform a variety of duties.

The developer will have responsibility for property management during the lease term.

Pinnacle One will: consult with county representatives and meet with the future design/builder to clarify and ensure county needs and requirements are met; assist the county during negotiation with the design/ builder, including engineering analysis and value engineering considerations; and evaluate available options and alternatives for the project by taking into consideration technical and economic considerations.

Pinnacle One will also provide professional advice to the county during the selection of the design/build team.

The design/build process was enabled by House Bill 2340 in 2000, but for many inside and outside the industry, it is not well understood, Walker said.

Contracts and design/build agreements have many fine points with which Pinnacle One will assist the county, he said.

Pinnacle One will also act as the county's agent during construction and provide engineering interpretation of the construction documents, costs and schedule, and will provide inspection services, oversee quality assurance programs during construction and approve substantial final completion of the project.

In keeping with the county's 1999 Long Range Facilities Master Plan, the new facility includes 100,000 square feet for administration and 30,000 square feet for human services, including the health, community development and public fiduciary departments.

The long-range county operational and facility requirements were based on a number of assumptions, among them the population growth rate.

For the purposes of the study, the population was projected to grow at an annual rate of 2.6 percent from 1998 to 2020, with a total population of 245,958 by 2020.

It is expected that the total number of county employees would grow as well, from roughly 921 in 1998 to 1,755 by 2020.

The next step is to have the county team evaluate the qualifications of designer/builders who submit bids, to conduct interviews with the top three to five, and to narrow the competition to the top three.

The top three will present their designs for the county team to evaluate.

If one is selected then the county will enter into negotiations for price and schedule and award of the contract.

The county could commence construction in 2004 with a 2005 completion, Walker said.

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