Saskatchewan issues RFQ for schools P3

The Canadian province will use the P3 model to build 18 new schools in its capital as well as in other high-growth communities.

The government of Saskatchewan is issuing a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for the design, build, financing and maintenance of 18 new schools that will be bundled into two projects, according to a statement.

The schools will be built on nine joint-use sites in: Regina, the province’s capital; Saskatoon, its largest city; as well as Martensville and Warman, which according to the statement are “high-growth communities”.

“Financial analysis, conducted by external experts, demonstrated that a P3 [public-private partnership] model will deliver the best value for Saskatchewan taxpayers,” said Gordon Wyant, the Minister responsible for SaskBuilds, a government agency charged with reviewing procurement options and making recommendations.

“We look forward to receiving submissions from highly qualified teams able to drive design innovation and efficiencies that build upon the input of students, teachers, parents and other community members gathered through the collaborative design process,” he added.

Interested parties will have until September to submit bids. A shortlist of no more than three candidates will be invited to proceed to the Request for Proposal (RFP) stage, which is expected to be announced in the autumn. 

Construction of the schools, which will be owned and operated by the public sector, is scheduled to begin in September 2015. They will be ready to open in time for the start of the 2017 school year.

The government of Saskatchewan did not disclose the estimated cost of the project, which it said will be determined through the procurement process and released at the end of procurement. “Releasing this information sooner would compromise the Province’s negotiating position,” it said.

Founded in October 2012 as a Treasury Board Crown corporation by the Government of Saskatchewan, SaskBuilds explores both traditional and alternative financing methods. The agency’s immediate focus, according to its website, is to help plan and manage pressing, large-scale infrastructure demands that are typically C$100 million (€68.2 million; $91.6 million) or more and a priority for the Province.