Prince George’s County looks to P3 to upgrade school buildings

WAMU.ORG – Prince George’s County Public Schools recently announced an ambitious plan to build six new middle schools in the next three years by partnering with the private sector.

Shawn Matlock, the Capital Improvements Project director for the Prince George’s school system, says a private company will do everything except operate the buildings. “They’re going to design them. They’re going to finance them and they’re going to build them. And then over the stretch of their contract, they’ll maintain those facilities.” The company, in turn, will be paid back with interest over 30 years.

Matlock says a private company can work faster and more efficiently because they’re working on several buildings at once. The idea is that hiring one company makes for a more efficient process by streamlining the bureaucratic side with just one procurement process. “Instead of having five architects, they’re hiring one. Instead of five different excavation firms are hiring one and they’re spreading the work out over,” and so forth, he says.

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