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Thursday, August 10, 2023

New Law Authorizes Use of Design-Build Contracts for Municipalities and Schools

The Illinois General Assembly recently enacted P.A. 103-491 (SB 1570) authorizing municipalities and school districts to enter into design-build contracts. This authority builds on the statutory authorization to choose the design-build delivery method that was previously given to the Chicago Park District, and then to all Park Districts formed under the Illinois Park Code, and has now been extended to municipalities through the Illinois Municipal Code and school districts through the the Illinois School Code. 

Non-home rule municipalities and school districts – like all units of non-home rule local government – are subject to the provisions of the Local Government Professional Services Selection Act which requires the unit of government to undertake a "quality-based" selection process for contracting with design professionals (e.g., architects and engineers) and which severely limits the ability to select a design professional on the basis of the design professional’s fee. In addition, other state laws mandate that certain public works contracts be competitively bid. Based on these current laws, non home rule municipalities and school districts have to follow a more traditional design-bid-build delivery method that involves the use of separate contracts - one with a design professional and one with a general contractor (or multiple contractors and a construction manager). 

With the enactment of this new law, municipalities and schools now have the option to choose the design-build delivery method. The new law establishes a two-phase selection process that includes development of the scope and performance criteria for design-build contracts, a procedure for selection of contracts, requirements for submission of proposals, procedures for awarding contracts, and requirements of reports and evaluation of contracts (and a shorter process if the total overall cost of a project is estimated to be less than $12,000,000). 

Post Authored by Derke Price, Ancel Glink


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