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In June 2018, Howard County selected Edgemoor-Star America Judicial Partners to lead the design, construction, partial financing, and facility operation and maintenance of a new Circuit Courthouse on the site of the current Thomas Dorsey Building on Bendix Road. The new facility will resolve deficiencies in the existing Courthouse, which was built 175 years ago.
The plan submitted by Edgemoor-Star America includes a 237,000 square foot courthouse that enhances safety and security. The design features a four-story atrium, a large entryway that will provide safety screening for those entering the Courthouse and separate hallways and elevators for prisoners to enhance public safety. The plan also includes office space and a courtroom for a sixth judge, a larger and more comfortable jury assembly area, and a 691-space parking garage adjacent to the Courthouse. The new Circuit Courthouse will be durable with high-quality systems to ensure its useful life extends well beyond the 30-year contract.
The selection of Edgemoor-Star America was the latest step in a procurement process that started in July 2017. Nine Expressions of Interest were received from project companies in September 2017. Three of those companies were short-listed and received the County’s formal Request for Proposal in November 2017. Technical and financial proposals from the three companies were received in May 2018.
Edgemoor-Star America is required to use minority and veteran-owned businesses for construction, operations, maintenance and supplies. The project requires a minimum 15 percent subcontracting goal.
The selected project company will finance the full cost of the construction and be responsible for design, construction and 30-year operating and maintenance of the building. At the end of the 30-year contract the selected project company will return the courthouse to the County in a well-maintained condition. The County will provide $75 million financed by General Obligation bonds to the project company when the new courthouse is occupancy ready. The County will also provide an annual service payment of approximately $10 million beginning in Fiscal Year 2022, with annual adjustments for inflation thereafter.
Demolition of the Thomas Dorsey Building is scheduled for June-July 2019, with construction of the new Circuit Courthouse beginning in August 2019. The Courthouse is expected to be ready for occupancy in summer 2021.
Edgemoor-Star America Judicial Partners included the following firms as its partners in the project:
This innovative public-private partnership approach, unanimously recommended by the County’s Spending Affordability Advisory Committee and endorsed by the County Council in CR27-2017, is expected to provide an efficient and effective way to deliver a modern facility at the best value. The County is expected to benefit from its ability to share risks, utilize innovative solutions and technology, and secure life-cycle investments and quality maintenance.
Preliminary renderings, a conceptual computer animation of the Edgemoor Star-America proposal and complete information on the Howard County Circuit Courthouse Project, can be found on this page.