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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                   
September 29, 2012

For More Information, Contact:
Lisa Gardiner (916) 651-4011 .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


SACRAMENTO –Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation Friday providing schools with a construction alternative proven to save millions in school construction dollars, provide added flexibility and speed up the construction process. Senate Bill 1509 provides K-12 and community college districts the ability to utilize design-build construction.

Design-build merges the construction and design elements of a project by partnering the architect and the builder throughout the building process. Engaging the contractor and architect early increases efficiency in construction projects.

“Design-build can eliminate some of the bureaucracy involved in building new schools, and helps ensures that architects and builders work as a team to get schools built,” said Simitian. “This new law offers a commonsense process for building schools faster and more cost-effectively.”

In 2002, Simitian authored a package of legislation granting K-12 and a few community college districts the authority to use design-build on a temporary basis. In 2007, a follow-up measure (SB 614) capitalized on design-build’s proven success in school construction and expanded design-build authority to all community college districts. Set to expire at the end of 2013, SB 1509 extends local districts’ ability to use design build through the year 2020.

Design-build is an innovative alternative to the traditional design-bid-build process typically used for school construction. Design-bid-build divides the key aspects of project delivery by awarding separate contracts for architectural services, engineering services, and construction. Separating project elements can lead to unnecessary delays and litigation.

“Far too often local districts engaging in design-bid-build contracts are caught in the middle of an adversarial relationship between the architect and the builder,” said Simitian. “When issues arise in construction under design-bid-build, your architect blames construction flaws by your builder, and your builder points to design imperfections by the architect; meanwhile the district must spend its own limited time and resources sorting out the issues. That’s good for no one. Under design-build, one team is working on the design and construction elements of a project, providing the district with a single source of accountability.”

A longtime supporter of the bill, and one of the first to utilize design-build for school construction, Ron Galatolo, chancellor of the San Mateo County Community College District, said, “Design-build allowed our district to produce state-of-the art academic and career technical education classrooms as well as faculty offices and other non-academic space. Most importantly, because of design-build, all of these projects were completed on time and on budget, a scenario that would not have been likely under the more cumbersome and less coordinated ‘design-bid-build’ approach that is the norm for public works projects.”

Over a period of 12 years, Simitian has worked with local districts and policy experts in Sacramento to carefully craft design-build authority for K-12 and community college districts. The Governor’s signature on SB 1509 will result in nearly two decades of providing local districts with the tools they need to produce the schools our children deserve.

Simitian added, “We have to find ways to maximize our limited dollars, time and resources.  Design-build may not be right for every project, but this new law will allow our community colleges and K-12 schools to pick the method that best meets their needs, which is a step in the right direction.”

For more about SB 1509, visit