RFQs issued for new borough-based jails in The Bronx and Queens

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Rikers Island
Rikers Island (User Sfoskett on en.wikipedia)

The NYC Department of Design and Construction (DDC) this week issued two new Requests for Qualifications (RFQs) seeking highly qualified design-build teams to build new jails in the Bronx and Queens as part of the city’s Borough-Based Jails Program.

“We strongly encourage qualified designers and builders to join us in this transformational program to create facilities that enable the best modern correctional practices,” DDC First Deputy Commissioner Jamie Torres-Springer said in a statement. “The Borough-Based Jails Program is funded and despite the difficulty of working through the pandemic we remain on track to deliver the four new jails in time to meet the deadline to close Rikers Island.”

Passed by the City Council in October 2019, the city’s plan to close the jails on Rikers Island and build smaller, safer and fairer borough-based jail facilities comes at a time when New York City has the lowest crime and incarceration rates of any large city in the United States. This is part of a once-in-many-generations opportunity to build a smaller and more humane justice system that includes four facilities grounded in dignity and respect, offering better connections to and space for families, attorneys, courts, medical and mental health care, education, therapeutic programming and service providers.

Procurement for all Borough-Based Jails Program work takes place through a two-step process: submittal of a Statement of Qualifications (SOQ) in response to an RFQ, followed by submittal of a proposal by short-listed vendors in response to a Request for Proposals (RFP). SOQs will then be reviewed to create a shortlist of three firms that will be able to respond to a future Request for Proposals for the work.

Responses to the RFQs in the form of SOQs must be returned to DDC by noon on May 3, 2021.

In selecting the design-build teams and carrying out a collaborative design-build approach to project delivery, DDC is committed to using best practices as defined by the Design-Build Institute of America. DDC will utilize a best-value selection process that prioritizes design, quality, past performance and qualifications. DDC will make available stipends to short-listed firms that participate in the Request for Proposal (RFP) process, but are not selected to be awarded a design-build contract.

The city’s statement says it highly encourages participation in the jails program by Minority- and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (M/WBEs) and will set significant requirements for M/WBE participation in the program’s design-build contracts. To learn more about how eligible firms can become certified as an M/WBE, visit Certify With the City.

M/WBE’s interested in participating in this program should reach out to the short-listed firms to express their interest. Contact info for the short list is located in the shortlist announcement letter at https://designbuild.ddcanywhere.nyc/.

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