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Executive Kittleman announces selection of team for Circuit Courthouse project

Executive Kittleman announces selection of team for Circuit Courthouse project

June 18, 2018

Media Contacts: 
Mark Miller, Administrator, Office of Public Information, 410-313-2022
Holger Serrano, Assistant to the Director, Department of Public Work, 410-313-0707

ELLICOTT CITY, MD – Howard County Executive Allan H. Kittleman today announced that Edgemoor-Star America Judicial Partners has been selected as the preferred bidder 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. 

Today’s announcement is 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.

“All three proposing teams presented exciting design and maintenance plans for our new courthouse and ultimately the proposal from Edgemoor Star-America was chosen as the best value for the County,” said Kittleman.  “This team provided an elegant and well thought out site plan that incorporated an iconic and aspirational design with an honorable and stately building. Their design for our future courthouse will prove to be an architectural landmark that expresses the values and traditions of Howard County’s justice system.”

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.

“We want to thank the County Executive Kittleman and all the wonderful work the review committee has done to get us to this point,” said Circuit Court Administrative Judge Lenore R. Gelfman.  “We are very excited to go before the County Council and get started on this new courthouse which will improve access to justice; provide a safe and secure environment; and promote the timely and efficient processing of court cases and transactions.”

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.

The administration will pre-file legislation for the public-private partnership multi-year contract on June 21, 2018.  A public hearing is scheduled for July 16, 2018 and a vote by the County Council is expected on July 27, 2018.

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:

Edgemoor Infrastructure and Real Estate, LLC
Star America Fund GP LLC
Hellmuth, Obata and Kassabaum, Inc.
Clark Construction Group, LLC
Johnson Controls, Inc.
Project Finance Advisory Ltd.
Bracewell LLP
Mazars Global Infrastructure (US) LLC
Willis Towers Watson
Thompson Coburn LLP
Allen & Shariff Engineering  (Based in Columbia, Maryland)
Harkins Builders, Inc.  (Based in Columbia, Maryland)
Site Resources, Inc.
Cagley & Associates, Inc.
Cerami & Associates, Inc.
Arup USA, Inc.
Simpson Gumpertz & Heger, Inc.
Van Deusen & Associates, Inc.
Schnabel Engineering DC, Inc.
Kirlin Design Build
Rosendin Electric, Inc.
S2N Technology Group

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.

For preliminary renderings and a conceptual computer animation of the Edgemoor Star-America proposal, and for complete information on the Howard County Circuit Courthouse Project, visit