Cove Frequently Asked Questions « The City of Lakewood, Ohio -
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Cove Frequently Asked Questions

Q:  What does Design Build mean and how is it different than a traditional project delivery?

A:  Below is a graphic explaining the difference between a traditional Design-Bid project delivery process and a Design-Build project delivery process.


A typical time-line for each of these processes is shown below:


Q:   Is this a competitive bid process?

A:    YesThis is a recognized competitive selection process under the laws of the State of Ohio for construction projects and it also authorized by city laws. The process has built in checks and balances.

Step 1:   The City will issue a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) which will allow the City to identify qualified firms. The RFQ will seek responses regarding the business(es) qualifications regarding such things as:  expertise, experience, completion history, reputation and financial means to execute the project.

Step 2:  A Selection Panel, made up of members from City Council, the Administration and residents will be established that will evaluate the RFQ responses submitted by the applicant firms and narrow them down to the top three applicants.

Step 3:  The city will issue a Request for Proposal (RFP) to the three selected applicants and invite them to submit a response to the Request for Proposal which will detail the design, cost and construction schedule.

Step 4:   The Selection Panel will evaluate the three RFP submissions, including interviews, and will make a recommendation to the administration. The administration will bring the selected firm forward to City Council for approval of a final Design-Build Agreement.

Step 5:   City Council will utilize its normal process to host appropriate public committee meetings to vet, ask questions, make recommendations and approve the final Design-Build Agreement.

In addition, the RFQ requires the parties to engage in an “open book” process in which city, the architect and the design-builder will review bids for trade work, the costs proposed for the general conditions of the design-builder and the fee of the design-builder. For each subcontract, there will be competitive pricing obtained from a list of mutually agreed-upon subcontractors.


Q:  If the Design-Build process is a competitive bid process, why does the language in the resolution regarding the repurposing of Cove Church state “without the necessity of competitive bidding”?:

Section 1.  The Mayor (Director of Public Safety), the Director of Public Works, the Director of Law, the Director of Finance, and /or the Purchasing Manager may establish procedures for and engage in the process of letting of one or more contracts with one or more qualified entities for the design and construction for the repurposing of Cove Church under the design-build project delivery system without the necessity of competitive bidding.   

 A:  Lakewood Codified Ordinance (LCO) Chapter 111 permits council to award contracts without competitive bidding in certain instances including where Council determines that it is either impractical to award the contract under competitive bidding procedures or cost-effective and in the best interests of the City to award the contract without competitive bidding.

Because it is recommended that a design-build process be used versus a traditional competitive bidding process that is solely based on lowest bid, Chapter 111 requires Council to acknowledge it will not be using this traditional competitive bidding process.

The design-build model has a built-in process of checks and balances.  With the traditional delivery method, design it, bid it, build it, the primary, if not only, factor considered in the competition is price. The DesignBuild selection process, conversely, puts in place a rigorous competition procedure that focuses on qualifications, experience, technical approach, price and other factors.


Q:   Do other governments allow for a design-build process?

A:   Yes.  The state of Ohio in Ohio Revised Code Chapter 153 provides for the design-build model for State Projects.  This chapter will provide guidance for the city to create its own design-build process which will be reflected in the legislation, all of which is perfectly legal.


Q:   Has the city ever executed a design-build contract process before?

A:   Yes.  In 2018 the city initiated a design-build process for the hi-rate treatment plant currently being built next to the city Wastewater Treatment Plant in the metro parks.

The Cleveland Metro Parks has also completed several design-build projects over the past few years and has been collaborative with the city in providing some best practices for this process.


Q:  Is the city going to tear down Cove Church to build the new Community Center?

A:  No. The project will be an “adaptive reuse” versus a “new build” project.  The city is requesting that the contractor propose plans to reuse the Cove Church building for this project, preserving the original Cove Church structure.


Q:  How much will this project cost the taxpayers of Lakewood?

A:  The city administration has spent time working with various independent builders to determine the range of cost based on various design methods.  As a result, it is estimated that the cost to renovate Cove Church for use as an Intergenerational Community Center will be between $3 million and $4 million.  If the building were to be torn down and new construction be built, it is estimated that the cost would be between $5 million and $7 million. The fluctuations in these costs are due to the supply of building materials and availability of enough building trade personnel.


Q:  Who will be on the selection committee for this project?

A:   The selection committee has not yet been appointed, but it is expected that there will be a representative from City Council, a representative from the Administration, and several residents with backgrounds in such areas as finance, real estate, and/or construction management.


Q:  Why did the city purchase the Cove Church building in the first place?

A:  The city purchased the Cove Church property for use in its compliance with the Clean Water Act of 1972. The church had closed its doors and this location at Cove & Lake Avenues worked well for purposes of the city’s Integrated Wet Weather Improvement Plan.  The property came with the church building.  The city’s review of options to relocate the Human Services Department had been unsuccessful until Cove Church became an option.


Q:  Will there be any community input about this project?

A:   Absolutely.  The department of Human Services (Early Childhood, Youth and Aging) has already been polling the residents they serve about innovative programming they want to see available at this new facility. In addition, the following community engagement will be incorporated into the process:

  • RFQ will request each firm to describe their reason for interest in the Cove Church project, anticipated added value to the project, and approach to community engagement and inclusivity.
  • During the time-period of January through March 2020 will be scheduled community engagement forums in the form of focus groups and community meetings to obtain ideas from residents.
  • City Boards and commissions as well as City Council will hold public meetings regarding the design-build project and the design-build agreement, all of which are open to the public.
  • Cove Community Center website will provide the opportunity for residents to submit ideas for programming from the website.