The Puerto Rico Public-Private Partnerships Authority last week announced that it has qualified 115 teams to participate in a request for proposals to renovate public schools.

Of the 115 selected teams, more than 100 are companies that are based in Puerto Rico, according to the authority.

The new school modernization program will be financed with $750 million of taxable qualified school construction bonds. The Government Development Bank for Puerto Rico, the commonwealth’s fiscal agent, anticipates pricing the QSCBs before the end of 2010.

The authority received 147 responses in mid-July to a request for qualifications. It plans to announce best and final offers by the end of September, the GDB said.

The bond proceeds will help finance infrastructure at 95 schools and construct five new ones. The commonwealth in mid-July announced the first 28 schools that will receive funding. About 70% of its schools were built 40 years ago and Puerto Rico’s Department of Education estimates a cost of $1.4 billion to bring all schools to a state of good repair.

Puerto Rico officials anticipate saving approximately $225 million in construction and maintenance costs by using a design-build-maintain structure in which selected developers will oversee those stages of construction. The P3 design-build-maintain plan will direct maintenance costs from the commonwealth and onto developers for a set period of time, potentially five to 10 years.

In addition, integrating the different phases of development will speed up the process, the authority said.

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