The NorthPoint Health & Wellness Center (NorthPoint), located at 1313 Penn Avenue North in Minneapolis, is a federally qualified health center and Hennepin County's department of primary care. NorthPoint operates as a partnership between a community board and Hennepin County, and is nationally recognized as an innovative model of integrated health and human services. The campus includes medical, dental, behavioral health, pharmacy, laboratory, radiology, social services, chemical dependency, computer lab, food shelf, and several on-site non-profit partner organizations.
In 2018, the NorthPoint campus served over 28,000 patients including 15,000 social service program clients and over 108,000 clinic visits. From 2010 to 2017, the number of NorthPoint patients increased 27% and patient visits increased 39%. Capital Link, an organization that analyzes economic impact of health centers, reported that in 2018 NorthPoint in 2018 provided 24% lower costs to its Medicaid patients and produced $85 million in economic impact from its operations. Over 90% of NorthPoint’s patients are from communities of color. According to the U.S. Bureau of Census data reports, the residents of NorthPoint’s primary service areas of zip codes 55411, 55412, 55428, 55429 and 55430 have annual median incomes that are significantly less than residents of Hennepin County as a whole. NorthPoint is recognized for quality of care and programs that reduce health disparities.
While Hennepin County has been providing health care services in the area since 1967, the current clinic facility was built in 1993. It is a 67,000 gross square foot, two story building that is at – or exceeding – capacity. The NorthPoint clinic expansion project will expand the current clinic, physically integrating NorthPoint’s services, and remodel and refurbish the existing spaces.
A robust community engagement process for the redesign of the NorthPoint campus started fifteen years ago. In 2005, the architecture firm Collaborative Design Group (CDG) was selected by the Designer Selection Committee. CDG provided a variety of pre-design and feasibility studies, programming, schematic design, design-development and construction document services.
To allow for the clinic expansion, additional projects were undertaken at the Penn and Plymouth intersection. In 2018, a new Estes Funeral Chapel was built on the southwest corner of the intersection and 30,000 sf of office space and 420 parking spaces were developed on the southeast corner. The former Estes building and the NorthPoint Inc. buildings were demolished in early 2019.
In spring of 2019, the NorthPoint clinic expansion project went through a best value and low-bid procurement method. Both sets of bids came in significantly over budget. Challenges included scope and budget misalignment, tariffs on construction materials, and tight labor market conditions.
In order to construct the project within budget, the project must be redesigned. As CDG performed its contractual obligations, and the needs of the county have changed, a Request for Proposals (RFP) for new design services was released on July 22, 2019. Four firms responded to the RFP. Based on a staff designer selection process, AECOM Technical Services, Inc. (AECOM) represents the most responsible and best value to the county and it is recommended that it be awarded the contract for the project in the amount of $1,878,341. The consultant’s Affirmative Action Plan and Small Business Enterprise participation goals are pending approval.
AECOM is an international, multi-disciplinary, architectural and engineering firm with an office in Minneapolis. Known for its extensive work in the healthcare industry, AECOM has delivered many acute and ambulatory care centers that are similar in size and function to the NorthPoint Health and Wellness Center. Additionally, AECOM has performed major construction projects while clinics remained open to the public, an important element in this project. AECOM demonstrated a thorough understanding of the project, proposed a practical data-driven approach to redesign, and share the county’s commitment to small business participation.
To better inform the architectural work, The Innova Group, a consulting firm specializing in medical operational programming, will partner with AECOM.
The project will be bid in the spring of 2020 and the project is expected to break ground in summer of 2020.
This request seeks approval of Areement PR00001403 with AECOM to provide architectural and engineering services for the redesign of the NorthPoint Health and Wellness Clinic in the amount not to exceed $1,878,341.
Impacts / Outcomes:
Hiring a design team with medical expertise to redesign the NorthPoint project will optimize space utilization and reduce construction costs. The redesign of the clinic will increase providers’ productivity and operational efficiency, thereby improving patient and client satisfaction, health equity, health outcomes, and clinic revenue.