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Austin: Central Health Issues RFQ for A/E Services on Brackenridge Campus

Texas Construction News from Virtual Builders Exchange

Posted: 3-23-2017

by Adolfo Pesquera

Austin (Travis County) – Central Health has issued a Request for Qualifications for architectural and engineering (A/E) services for what it refers to as “turnover design and support” related to the University Medical Center Brackenridge campus.

Responses to the RFQ are due April 7 by 2 p.m.

This RFQ is separate from an RFQ that Central Health circulated in September 2016 for developers interested in a mixed-use concept redevelopment of the Brackenridge campus. As reported in Virtual Builders Exchange, Central Health wants to work with a private developer to convert the 14.3-acre downtown campus into an intensively development mixed-use district.

The present RFQ, issued March 17, is for numerous interim modifications and affects several buildings that are planned to be preserved and repurposed after Central Health takes control of the campus on Sept. 1. UMCB (Brackenridge campus) will close once the new Dell Seton Medical Center at The University in Texas opens in May.

“The A/E shall coordinate turnover requirements and provide design and construction administration services relating to modifying building utilities, securing unoccupied spaces, and addressing life-safety modifications,” the RFQ states.

Campus areas most impacted by this scope include:

  • Psych Emergency Department (ED) in the North Annex (to be leased by Seton through 2017)
  • Clinical Education Center (CEC) Buildings and Garage (to be leased by Seton until 2022)
  • Ciberknife Building (to be leased by Seton until 2022)
  • Main Garage (to be leased by Seton; 10-year leave with renewals)
  • Paint Shop (future Medic-3 Building; to be leased by City of Austin, terms to be determined)
  • Central Plant
  • HealthSouth Building (not a part of the Campus, but served by campus utilities)

These turnover tasks will be carried out in three phases. In Phase 1, the selected A/E will serve as Central Health’s representative in coordinating with Medxcel, Seton’s operation and maintenance site manager. The A/E will assess the current state of operations and determine fiscally prudent solutions.

In Phase 2, the A/E will create a biddable design package to address mechanical, electrical and plumbing changes, physical isolations and life-safety modifications.

“Design must account for lease terms and must facilitate a construction completion prior to Sept. 1, 2017,” the RFQ states.

During Phase 3, the A/E will provide construction administration services.

Meanwhile, Central Health is continuing with plans to maximize the marketability of the campus by partnering with a private developer. By February, Central Health had reduced from the initial 12 down to four the firms that it would consider.

On Feb. 6, Central Health announced it had invited these firms to submit their proposals:

  • Brandywine Realty Trust of Radnor, Pennsylvania
  • Catellus Development of Oakland, California
  • Wexford Science + Technology of Baltimore, Maryland
  • A joint proposal by The Howard Hughes Corp. and Cambridge Holdings Inc., both of Dallas



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About the Author:

Adolfo Pesquera (Reporter/Editor) is a veteran news journalist. He has worked for Hearst Corp., American Lawyer Media, News Corp and Freedom Communications. His work has been published in newspapers and magazines across the USA. He is a journalism graduate of UT-RGV. He writes, edits and creates digital pages for VBX.

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