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Commissioners vote to issue RFP for correctional facility design services (update)

An aerial view of the land acquired by Lancaster County for a new prison. (Source: Lancaster County)

Update, March 1: As discussed Tuesday, the county commissioners voted unanimously Wednesday morning to issue the request for proposals for design services for the planned Lancaster County Correctional Facility.

Previously reported:

The Lancaster County commissioners are poised to sign off this week on a request for proposals for an architectural and engineering team to design the county’s new correctional facility.

A resolution authorizing the county Purchasing Department to issue the RFP is on the commissioners’ Wednesday morning agenda. Assuming it passes, the document will be posted Thursday, March 9, on Public Purchase, the online government contracting portal that the county uses, responses due by Wednesday, April 12. As required by state law, the county will publish notification of the RFP in LNP newspaper.

The county is encouraging partnerships between local and national firms, Director of Purchasing Linda Schreiner said. Applicants must register with the county and there will be a mandatory pre-proposal meeting, so the county should have a pretty good idea of who is interested, she said.

The correctional facility is to be built on property in Lancaster Township near the county’s Central Park. It will be the largest infrastructure project of its kind in county history.

An eight-member committee will evaluate proposals received in response to the RFP, Schreiner said. The committee will rank and identify the top three applicants, who will make public presentations before the Board of Commissioners.

The county anticipates finalizing a contract with the design team this summer. Schreiner declined to speculate on the cost: There’s no way to know until the bids come in, she said.

Once the correctional facility’s design is developed, there will be another contracting process to recruit a general contractor and construction team.
On Tuesday, the three commissioners agreed the RFP represents an exciting milestone on the path to the new facility.

“The county will carefully review all proposals submitted and select what makes the most sense for taxpayers,” Commissioner Josh Parsons, who chairs the Prison Board, said in a statement.