Virginia– Members of three leading city of Falls Church groups are moving ahead on the George Mason High School campus and 10-acre commercial development projects following the approval of a $120 million bond earlier this month. The timeline on the school begins with the school board issuing a request for qualifications (RFQ) for school design and construction. The next step is to approve a list of respondents by February and issue a request for proposals (RFP) for school design and construction. The final contract is slated to be approved by July 2018 and the final school design will be ready by July 2019, with the notice to commence with the construction also coming that month. City officials plan to open the new George Mason High School in the summer of 2021.
The city council is simultaneously planning a 10-acre commercial development that would commence fall of 2021. Approval of the Comprehensive Plan modifications will be due by February 2018 and the issuance of an RFQ for economic development is also due in February. The project will require another $10 million bond to be approved in the May 2018 election. If approved, the city can issue an official RFP and work to obtain the rest of the financing needed to complete the project.
ouisiana- The city of New Orleans expects to spend $15 million to convert Esplanade Avenue and Gov. Nicholls Street wharves into the final major piece of a 3.2-mile-long Tricentennial Park consisting of a variety of riverfront projects. The city swapped the Public Belt Railroad to the Port of New Orleans in exchange for the two commercial wharves. The agreement between the Public Belt Railroad and the port, directs the port to work toward the creation of an economic development district that would include the riverfront from Spanish Plaza to Bywater, but exclude any port facility within that area, such as the cruise ship terminal at the downriver end of Bywater.
While the plan for now, calls for mostly open park space along the riverfront, the city is not ruling out the possibility for revenue generating facilities. A proposal is in place to create an economic development district that would cover the area, allowing the city to gain additional revenue from any attractions that may be built there.
Other parts of the overall riverfront redevelopment include a new $37 million ferry terminal at the foot of Canal Street, a $7.3 million pedestrian bridge to the terminal over the Public Belt Railroad tracks, a $400 million redevelopment of the World Trade Center into a hotel and condos and a $7.5 million refurbishment of Spanish Plaza. The series of projects will be completed over the next several years
llinois- The University of Illinois (U. of I.) is launching a multibillion-dollar fundraising campaign across its three campuses. The Urbana-Champaign campus seeks to collect $2.25 billion in public and private donations over the next five years. Springfield is looking to collect $40 million, according to university officials. The Urbana-Champaign and Springfield campuses formally started the public phases of their plans last week, while Chicago will kick off its campaign and announce its funding goal Oct. 28. All three campaigns will end in 2022, university leaders said. About $1.01 billion in private offerings has been secured for the U. of I.
At the three campuses, there are plans to renovate Altgeld and Illini halls, costing up to $100 million; a $50 million facility for health, aging and disability-related research; athletic facility upgrades; construction and programming for the Bruce Nesbitt African American Cultural Center; and improvements to the University Library. There are also plans to spend $8 million for a new Center for Lincoln Studies and $10 million for building upgrades. The plan is to raise more than their last campaign totaling $2.43 billion. In many cases, public universities throughout the country are turning to fundraising to make up for stagnant or dwindling state support.
Maine- Maine Medical Center in Portland has won state approval for its $512 million renovation and expansion project that will add single-patient rooms, operating rooms and a new entrance facing Congress Street. According to an August 2017 analysis by Maine Department of Health and Human Services, the hospital’s expansion project is necessary for modern hospital needs. The project is scheduled to take place from 2018-2022.
The expansion would increase the footprint of the hospital’s main campus by about 25 percent and add 19 new operating rooms and 128 single inpatient rooms. The project did undergo one significant overhaul this summer when the hospital changed its plans on parking from an adjacent site to a 10-story parking garage, a quarter mile from the hospital. The hospital’s expansion would add two floors with 30,000 square feet and 64 extra in-patient beds to the East Tower, which was built in 2009. The state granted the Certificate of Need contingent upon Maine Med submitting annual reports on how the expansion improved “quality and outcomes” at the hospital. The reports are required for three years after the project is completed.