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City Council sets criteria for courthouse proposals
Fredericksburg's City Council sets criteria for ranking remaining three courthouse proposals.

Date published: 8/25/2011

BY ROBYN SIDERSKY

Fredericksburg's City Council has determined criteria for evaluating the remaining three courthouse facility proposals.

The criteria are made up of seven elements determined by the council and consultants from Arcadis.

"We spent some time identifying the criteria," said City Manager Beverly Cameron. "Then we went through the process of deciding how important the criteria are in terms of which ones are more important and which ones are less important, et cetera," he said.

The element with the most weight was determined to be overall project benefit, which is defined as the measure of the total solution to the city's long-term space needs. It addresses parking, the fire station, Executive Plaza and the Renwick building. It got a weight of 30 percent, out of 101 percent.

It got the most weight because it encompasses several specifics that aren't included in the other elements.

The seven elements add up to 101 percent because the formula used to assign the weight rounded each number to a whole number, resulting in 101 percent instead of 100 percent.

The next two elements with the most weight were design and location, each receiving 20 percent.

The design is the acceptability of the courthouse exterior facade and the functionality of the interior layout.

Council will determine if the location of the site is preferable in terms of site efficiency and the impact on the adjacent properties.

The third and fourth elements, each receiving 11 percent of the weight are the team and the cost.

The experience and qualifications of the designer and constructor who make up the team will be ranked.

The acceptability of cost as expressed in the "construction cost limit" and long-range solution will be ranked.

The element for phasing and disruption received 9 percent of the weight. The council will determine if the phasing plan can be executed in a non-disruptive manner for all major stakeholders.

The element that received no weight at all was scheduling.

Councilman George Solley said that it received no weight because it wasn't more important than any of the other criteria and the city isn't on a hard schedule to get the courthouse facilities built.

Now that there are criteria in place with specific elements to compare the three options, the council will rank the proposals.

Cameron said establishing the weights and values of each of the elements was a relatively complicated exercise.

The ranking, however, will be done in a closed session.

Solley said that the ranking is done in closed session because if the proposers knew what the council was discussing, it would reduce the city's negotiating ability.

The three proposals remaining are from First Choice, Donley's and WM Jordan.

Council will next discuss courts plans at a work session on Sept. 13.

Robyn Sidersky 540/374-5413
Email: rsidersky@freelancestar.com


The criteria and the weight given to each element:

30%

Overall project benefit

20%

Design

20%

Location

11%

Team

11%

Cost

9%

Phasing and disruption

0%

Schedule

(no weight)