The University of Rochester has selected the University Partners Group as a sole source provider of facility planning, design, and field engineering work for its academic campuses and Medical Center. The multi-million-dollar contract will dramatically alter the way the University plans and designs facility changes. The University will continue its practice of conducting national searches for facility planning and design consultants for major building projects.
The idea of partnering with a single firm for construction project planning and design is the result of "Re-engineering Rochester," in which the University has been examining ways in which it can improve and streamline its administrative functions.
Since this arrangement is such a departure from the way the University currently engages architectural and engineering consultants, the University held round-table discussions with consultant representatives prior to preparing a request for proposals. The structure of the selection process and partnering arrangement was developed on the basis of those discussions and on the needs ofthe University community.
The University's immediate goals are to improve the project development and design process through faster turnaround, reduced costs, and improved functionality and aesthetics of its facilities.
"We know, for example, that this new arrangement means we won't have to 'start from scratch' in bringing the consultant up to speed on general University requirements and specifications," said Jack Dempsey, associate director for University facilities and services and director for planning and project management. "And it means we save time, and therefore cost, and bring consistency to the project development process."
The University Partners Group (UP Group) was formed as a separate entity by three professional services firms--the DeWolff Partnership, of Rochester, Galson Engineers, of Syracuse and Rochester, and King & King Architects, of Syracuse--with the single purpose of serving the facility needs of the University of Rochester. The three firms bring to the new subsidiary a combined 250 years of practice in Upstate New York and a continuous 22-year relationship with the University of Rochester. The new company has opened its own office in Rochester.