Infrastructure Ontario has released a request for qualifications (RFQ) to design, build, finance and maintain a new consolidated courthouse in St. Thomas. The new courthouse will be constructed on Wellington Street on the site of the historic Elgin County Courthouse, which will be incorporated into the new courthouse design. Currently, the region’s Ontario Court of Justice and Superior Court of Justice operate from two separate locations in St. Thomas. The new St. Thomas Consolidated Courthouse will:
- improve access to justice in the region by consolidating existing courthouse facilities and services into one new location;
- have more courtrooms, better accessibility and security, and improved health and safety standards.
RFQ submissions will be reviewed to pre-qualify project teams with the design, construction and facilities management experience, the qualified personnel and the financial strength to deliver a project of this size and complexity. Pre-qualified teams will then be invited to respond to a request for proposals (RFP), expected to be released in mid-2010, to design, build, finance and maintain the new facility.
The Ministry of the Attorney General and Infrastructure Ontario has also announced that Integrated Team Solutions (ITS) has signed a contract to design, build, finance and maintain the new Waterloo Region Consolidated Courthouse. ITS will begin mobilizing equipment on the site over the next few weeks, with an official groundbreaking ceremony to follow.
The new facility, to be located at Duke and Frederick Streets in downtown Kitchener, will improve courthouse services by consolidating the Superior Court of Justice and Ontario Court of Justice, currently operating in three locations across Waterloo Region. At the peak of construction, it is estimated that 250 workers will be on site daily. Construction of the new courthouse is expected to be completed in early 2013.
The Waterloo Region Consolidated Courthouse project will be delivered using an Alternative Financing and Procurement (AFP) model. ITS will receive annual payments from the province over a 30-year period. Payments cover construction, building maintenance, life-cycle repair and renewal, and project financing. Life-cycle repair and renewal will ensure that heating and cooling systems, windows, floors and roofing structures, for example, are kept in excellent working condition over the 30-year period. The annual payments are comparable to a fixed-rate mortgage, with maintenance and repair expenses included. The total cost of the contract with ITS is approximately $766 million after 30 years. In today’s dollars, this is equivalent to approximately $379 million.