Architect Selection Schedule Established for New Performing Arts Center | sarasota

A week after its formation, the committee tasked with recommending an architectural firm to design the Sarasota Performing Arts Center project at The Bay met on Monday to kick off the six-month process.

That’s the time frame given to the panel by New York-based Paratus Group, a consulting firm that guides museums and cultural institutions through complex construction projects.

Primarily an orientation meeting, the five-member SPAC Architect Selection Working Group introduced themselves to each other, as necessary, and to the public. He also received instructions from Assistant City Attorney Michael Connelly regarding Florida’s sun laws, which require transparency in all matters relating to public investments.

They were also educated about Florida’s Consultant Competitive Negotiation Act, which sets out the process for government agencies, municipalities, school boards, and school districts to engage professional services using a selection process based on qualifications rather than on the basis of the lowest offer.

“That applies whenever an agency — of which the city is an agency — goes for professional service,” Connelly said. “These professional services are architects, engineers, landscape architects, surveyors and cartographers, so this applies to all of you because you are looking for an architect. You must follow the CCNA’s statutory procedures.

This is a three-step process that begins with a public announcement of the qualification process, beginning with a request for qualification process, applications from which a band will be selected to meet a performance request. The RFQ was to be released by the end of the week.

The second stage of the process consists of reducing the pool of candidate companies among the candidates for the quote request to a minimum of three. The third and final step is to select the winning company after site visits and public Q&As, as well as competitive negotiations with the selected recommended company. Before this stage, no financial matters can be discussed. The guidelines require that if the parties fail to agree on terms, the task force enters into negotiations with its second choice, and so on.

The planned budget for the SPAC project is $275 million.

Once selected and the mandates established, the working group comes before the Municipal Commission for approval of its recommendation.

The RFQ specifications include a 2,100-seat main hall, a 300-seat flexible performance space, and a total of 165,000 square feet of building utilizing education, event, and rooftop space at the same time. inside and outside. The Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall replacement is part of The Bay Park project, a reimagining of the city-owned 53-acre site along Tamiami Trail between Arts Boulevard and the 10th Street public boat launch. street.

The redevelopment of the bay is being led by the Bay Park Conservancy in partnership with the Van Wezel Foundation – both city-approved bodies – the latter being responsible for building the SPAC. Funding for the entire park project, including SPAC, is a combination of private donations, grants, a portion of the countywide penny tax, and revenue from the Funding District. waterfront tax increases.

The task force was also briefed by Paratus Group Founder and President Andrew Klemmer and Project Manager Cortez Crosby, who guided them through the process from request for quotation to final selection.

The company was founded 25 years ago and its work is inspired by what Klemmer described as a “tremendously successful project” at the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain. Inaugurated in 1997, it is considered one of the most important buildings of the 20th century.

“A lot of what we do is based on our success in Bilbao,” Klemmer said. “We tried to replicate that…to do the same thing that we’ve been doing over and over for 25 years. This first step is really essential to match an architect and a client. Not every architect is perfect for every job, so it’s really about finding that perfect person who can pursue your mission and do it in a smart way that will serve you well after opening.

As a consultant engaged by a city-appointed body, Paratus Group is subject to the same Sunshine laws, and all communications are public.

Paratus Group will select RFPs and prepare them for review by the working group and contact companies to answer general questions about the project within the permitted parameters, and prepare and distribute RFPs. He cannot make recommendations to the committee.

“Our job is to give you the information you need to make the decisions, not to advise you on the decisions,” Klemmer said.

The task force must make its final selection and prepare its recommendation to the city board by April 2023. All meetings are open to the public and can be viewed on the city’s website.

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