Inspire: Request for Qualifications (RFQ)

This week we’re posting a formal Request for Qualifications (RFQ) to ask Development Teams to offer us a vision of a mixed-use library facility that would include residential and retail components.

At its regular meeting of August 11, 2014, the Marion Public Library Board of Trustees voted to recommend to the City Council that the RFQ be issued, and at its regular meeting of August 25, 2104, the Council unanimously approved.

Our goal is to determine the feasibility of a project that will provide Marion with a library expansion, reduce library construction costs, grow Marion’s property tax base, and contribute to our community’s economic development.

Here’s the opening statement of the RFQ:

Share your vision for Marion's Nancy A. Miller Library to bring it into the 21st Century in a new and larger development to complement the vibrant and eclectic City Square Park and Central Corridor area.

The Marion Public Library (MPL) is rethinking the public library’s role in the community, in function, design, and context. The Library's vision is to create a premier example of new library design in a mixed-use facility servicing the community’s housing, retail, and information needs. New library design should be inspirational to create a vibrant naturally lit environment that inspires lifelong learning and helps to define the Uptown and City Square Park neighborhood.

The Library’s design goals can be found in the Library Design Requirements of the RFQ. For background consult the Library's Needs Assessment. The Library's analysis of how the new library can be integrated into the commercial and residential development opportunities of Uptown Marion can be found in the Cost Benefit Site Analysis.

Download the complete Request for Qualifications (pdf).

What is a Request for Qualifications (RFQ)?

An RFQ is a request to developers to show that they are qualified to build a mixed-use project that includes public library, residential, and retail components. We want to make sure they have the skills, personnel, and resources to do the job as well as the capital required for the investment.

We refer them to our Needs Assessment and Cost-Benefit Site Analysis to provide guidance regarding our expectations about critical features, look and feel, size, and cost. In The RFQ itself, we specify the following critical design requirements:

  • Service vision
  • Identity
  • Performance goals
  • Expansion possibilities
  • Building configuration
  • Construction standards

The most important requirement is that we get the best possible library facility.

We also ask the developers to provide specific information about themselves and their plans for the project, including:

  • Profile
  • Project team
  • Experience
  • Financing intent
  • Schedule
  • Concept illustration and explanation

The RFQ does not specify a specific design or plan. The Cost-Benefit Site Analysis describes development options we’ve identified and ranks them by a cost-benefit score, but we are open to proposals from developers based on alternative ideas. The Board of Trustees expects proposals to provide sufficient analysis and cost modeling to assure it of their economic validity.

The deadline for responses to the RFQ is October 3, 2014. The Board of Trustees will assemble an evaluation committee to assess their viability, determine if they meet our goals and expectations, and make a selection recommendation to the Board. This process will include public informational meetings and broad public input, after which the Board will decide when and how to go forward.