Last Friday (September 19th) we held a Pre-Proposal informational session here at the Library to answer questions about the building project Request for Qualifications (RFQ). The Library and City were represented by me; Lon Pluckhahn, City Manager; Kevin Gertsen, Vice-president MPL Board of Trustees; and Joe Huberty, Engberg Anderson Consulting Architect. Tim Oswald, Managing Director of Public Finance Investment Banking for Piper Jaffray also attended as a financial consultant for the City.
Fifteen people representing eleven firms including developers, contractors, engineers and architects attended the meeting. After a brief presentation regarding the project concept and the envisioned role of a private/public partnership in its development, we took questions from the floor. Most of the questions were of a general and preliminary nature. Their primary intent was to clarify our expectations and get a better overall idea of the project. A few specific questions focused on the extent of the available property, and the size and nature of the library component and its desired relation to City Square Park. We were also asked about similar mixed-used library projects and provided a few examples.
Our goal was to be clear that we are looking for creative responses to the RFQ, and that given the primary importance of ensuring that we get the best library we can get, we recognize that there are likely many paths to that end. We stressed that the RFQ was deliberately left open to solicit outside-the-box thinking to realize mutual public and private benefits.
As expected, the attendees did not provide much specific input at this meeting, but by its end it was clear there was interest in the project. Several attendees mentioned that the kind of project we’re offering is new to them and in response to their requests, the deadline for submission of responses to the RFQ has been extended for two weeks to October 24, 2014.
The list of attendees, answers to specific questions, and the announcement of the deadline extension will be sent to all contacts.