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Mac Bell: Fengate partnership was critical milestone after years of work to replace functionally obsolete building.

The recent approval of a new partnership between Clackamas County and Fengate PCL Progress Partners was a critical milestone for the county after years of work to replace its aging courthouse. COURTESY PHOTO: CLACKAMAS COUNTY - This aerial shot shows the section of Clackamas County's Red Soils Campus (between two existing buildings, top) where the new courthouse will be built.

This innovative approach is a public-private partnership (P3) that will provide a replacement courthouse, generate hundreds of jobs and not require any new taxes.

Clackamas County residents deserve a safe and secure place to seek justice. The current courthouse doesn't meet those needs.

Built in 1936 to serve 50,000 residents, the current courthouse can no longer handle the demands of a population of approximately 420,000. The building in downtown Oregon City is functionally obsolete and seismically unsound.

The replacement courthouse will be built on the county's Red Soils campus in Oregon City by 2025. It will be the first courthouse in Oregon to be delivered through a P3 approach, which was determined to be the most cost-effective, lowest-risk plan based on the county's comprehensive analyses of alternatives.

The county will own the replacement courthouse at all phases of the P3 project.

P3s involve collaboration between a government agency and a private-sector company that can be used to finance, build and operate large infrastructure projects such as a courthouse.

Fengate PCL Progress Partners (FP3) are honored and excited to work with Clackamas County on this critical, much-needed infrastructure.

FP3 is a consortium of companies, including Fengate, PCL Construction, Honeywell and DLR Group, working with the county to develop, build, finance, operate and maintain the replacement courthouse for 30 years at a price, timeline and building performance that are all guaranteed.

Fengate, the consortium lead, an investment manager with offices in Ontario and Texas and team members across North America, has developed critical infrastructure since 2006. The consortium companies, jointly or individually, have participated in more than 100 successful P3 projects worldwide, including delivery of more than 40 courthouses.

Similar to paying a mortgage after building a house, the project agreement enables the county to make small, fixed payments over 30 years. County residents will have a state-of-the-art replacement courthouse ready in three years or less.

The estimated cost of the replacement courthouse is an inflation-adjusted $313 million. The majority of this investment goes to design, construction, operations and maintenance. The county will not make any payments until specific quality and performance obligations are met and the building is ready for occupancy.

The design-and-build funds will all be spent over the next three years, creating hundreds of local jobs with competitive wages and opportunities for local labor and suppliers.

We also have a commitment to hire local disadvantaged, minority and women-owned businesses, as well as service-disabled veterans' businesses, and small businesses in the community.

We are building a courthouse that will stand the test of time. We carefully selected all systems and materials for the replacement courthouse based on their functionality, aesthetic, performance and service life.

Best practices in use of materials, systems and energy efficiency are embedded within the design to attain LEED v4.1 Gold Certification, support the county's goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050 and comply with the Oregon Green Energy Technology program.

When the 30-year contract is complete, FP3 is required to reinvest in the replacement courthouse to ensure that it has many remaining decades of life.

This project has the support of the Clackamas County District Attorney, Clackamas County Sheriff's Office, Clackamas County Bar Association, Oregon Department of Human Services, Association of Oregon Counties, the city of Oregon City and the state of Oregon.

FP3 is proud to partner with Clackamas County on this historic project that avoids any new taxes, creates local jobs and opportunities for community businesses, and delivers a replacement courthouse to ensure the legal needs of county residents are met for many generations to come.

Mac Bell is managing director of infrastructure investments on behalf of Fengate PCL Progress Partners.

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