DA To Occupy SB “303” Courthouse Upon Closure

(October 10) What is known as the 303 Building, which has served as an adjunct to the county’s historic central downtown courthouse for much of the last decade, will be adapted to become the new headquarters for the district attorney’s office  when the new central county courthouse is completed.
The county board of supervisors, which had previously committed $1 million toward making that conversion, this week increased the conversion project budget by $5,300,000 to $6.3 million.
According to Carl Alban, the director of the county’s architecture and engineering division, “The 303 Building is currently occupied by the district attorney on the upper two floors, public defender on the ground level floor, and state courts for courtrooms and administrative space in the remaining five floors. Upon completion of the new State Justice Center located at the southeast corner of W. Third Street and Arrowhead Avenue, court operations will no longer be conducted in the 303 Building.”
Alban said his division is proposing “the demolition and remodel of the areas occupied by the state courts to provide needed office space to relocate DA personnel and operations from multiple locations throughout San Bernardino to a central location as established by the county buildings acquisition and retrofit project implementation plan. This project will also include parking improvements to increase the number of parking spaces from 177 spaces to approximately 300 spaces by the addition of a parking deck over the existing parking lot. Dedicated parking will help to minimize parking burdens created by increased vehicle loads generated by the State Justice Center and Superblock Master Plan, as well as maximize district attorney personnel parking within close proximity to offices and courts.”
According to Alban, “The revised project budget of $6,300,000 is comprised of the following components: project management and inspection costs of $360,000; construction costs of $5,400,000; and a construction contingency of $540,000. The funding source is discretionary general funding approved by the board of supervisors as part of the county buildings acquisition and retrofit project in the 2012-13 and 2013-14 capital improvement program budgets.”
The board of supervisors authorized Alban to release a design-build pre-qualification package, which Alban said will allow the project costs to be identified much earlier in the process; allow design and construction activities to be performed concurrently, reducing the amount of time required to complete the project, and allowing building occupancy at the earliest possible date; reduce the project cost as a result of the close working relationship between the designer and the construction contractor; the incorporation of efficient and economical construction methods into the design; and eliminate disputes and the need for dispute resolution between the design and construction contractor, resulting in the reduction of the likelihood of  litigation and contract modifications.
“The purpose of the pre-qualification package  for the selection of a design-build contractor for this project is to solicit preliminary information from interested design-build contractors,” Alban said. The information submitted will be evaluated by a committee that includes representatives from the county administrative office, district attorney’s office, and architecture and engineering. The evaluation process is intended to identify three design-build firms who, in the opinion of the county, are best qualified to execute successfully the design and construction of the project based on the criteria identified in the pre-qualification package.
Following selection of the three finalists, architecture & engineering staff will return to the board to seek approval to proceed on to the second step of the procurement process. The second step will provide significantly more detail regarding the project requirements and expectations, allowing the three design-build contractors to submit a best and final proposal. The selection of the successful design-build contractor, Alban said, will be based on “best value,” as determined by the evaluation committee.

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