Information on Student Housing Accommodations

Issue Date: May 26, 2021
Issuing Agency: South Florida State College Foundation
13 East Main Street
Avon Park, FL 33825
Issuing Agent: Jamie Bateman
Executive Director, Institutional Advancement


South Florida State College Foundation, Inc. (Foundation), on behalf of the South Florida State College (SFSC), is seeking to contract with a firm or firms to provide on-campus student housing accommodations to students.


SFSC is governed by an eight-member Board of Trustees, appointed by the Governor of Florida, responsible for setting policy for SFSC.

South Florida State College Foundation (Foundation) is a direct support organization of SFSC and serves a public purpose, authorized to develop or operate a qualifying project. In addition, the Foundation serves as the fundraising arm to SFSC and works to raise funds to help offset capital expenditures and fund programs, scholarships and other SFSC needs.

SFSC is a comprehensive, open-access, higher education institution dedicated to providing a student-centered environment focused on learning and personal enrichment through quality programs and services. At its campuses in DeSoto, Hardee, and Highlands counties and through its online presence, SFSC offers certificates, associate degrees, and bachelor’s degrees that lead to the continued success of its graduates and a variety of opportunities for the educational, cultural, and economic advancement of the service district. SFSC is one of the 28 institutions of the Florida College System. 

Scope of Services:

SFSC is seeking a developer (s) to provide permanent, on-campus apartment amenities housing accommodations for students located at the Highlands Campus of SFSC. The student population served will be comprised of incoming and returning students, with an average age of 19-24 years. Foundation currently provides off-campus housing for 80 student athletes.

The Foundation currently leases off-campus student housing accommodations to SFSC students.  SFSC had approximately 2,752 students enrolled for the Spring 2021 term, with an annual unduplicated headcount of 6,024. The Foundation intends to lease approximately 5 acres of land in Highlands County, Florida from SFSC, located between College Drive and Lake Leila and to the east of the Criminal Justice Academy as depicted on Exhibit A. The Foundation seeks written proposals from Developers for the construction of a residential dormitory. The Foundation will sublease the land to a Developer and the terms of the sublease will incorporate the obligations contained within the lease between SFSC and the Foundation. The duration of the sublease may be long-term and is subject to negotiation. Pursuant to Florida law, the completed Project must be owned by the Foundation at the expiration or termination of any agreement between the Foundation and Proposer, i.e. the end of the lease term.

Proposal Inquiries:

Questions or inquiries regarding project specifics will not be accepted by telephone. All inquiries concerning proposals should be made via email to Jamie Bateman, executive director institutional advancement at with the subject heading: Student Housing Accommodations.

Responses to inquiries and clarification requests will be posted on at Support SFSC > Student Housing Accommodations Q&A or at

Inquiries must be initiated by Friday, June 25 by 5 p.m. EDT.

Questions regarding opening documents or accessing items on the website should be addressed to:

Anastasia Saunders
Coordinator, Institutional Advancement and Alumni Development

Proposal Copies:

Prospective bidders are instructed to deliver one original and seven copies of the proposal, enclosed in a one sealed box or other package, in a manner that assures receipt by the proposal due date. Package must be sealed and designated prominently “Student Housing Accommodations.” All proposals must be received at 13 East Main Street, Avon Park, FL 33825 by the due date.

Proposed Due Date:

Sealed proposals must be received no later than 3 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, June 30, 2021 in the SFSC Foundation office located in the Hotel Jacaranda at 13 East Main Street, Avon Park, FL 33825.

Proposals will be publicly opened at the Ranking Committee Meeting on July 13, 2021 at noon EDT.

Notification Date:

Notification of the results will be by July 21, 2021.


In order to be considered for the award, all packages must be received at the appropriate location by the required time. Any package not received on time at the noted location will be rejected.

Planned Timeline:

May 26, 2021                      Notice published

June 30, 2021                     Proposals Due

July 13, 2021                       Ranking Committee Meeting, begin detailed negotiations

July 20,2021                        SFSC Foundation Board meeting, approval of Proposal

Jul 21, 2021                         Notify top proposal

Sep. 7, 2021                        Construction plans submitted to SFSC Architect

Oct. 12, 2021                      SFSC Foundation Executive Committee Meeting, plans approval

Nov. 15, 2021                     Final Comprehensive Agreement Awarded

Dec. 1, 2021                        Construction begins after Comprehensive Agreement signed.

                                              Project completion date to be negotiated.

Acceptance or Rejection of Proposal:

SFSC Foundation, may at its sole discretion, reject any or all proposals received, or waive minor defects, irregularities, or informalities therein.

Verbal Instruction Procedure:

Verbal representations shall not be relied upon.

Minimum Requirements of Proposals:

Developer shall execute a sublease with the Foundation for the real estate for the Project.

The Project shall be used solely as residential housing for students of SFSC.  The facilities may not be rented or occupied by non-students of South Florida State College.  Commercial facilities for the use and support of the student-residents may be permitted as provided in the sublease.

Developer shall execute a facilities maintenance agreement to provide ongoing preemptive maintenance over the life of the lease for the improvements.

Developer shall pay for the cost of the review and evaluation of the proposal, including the expense of design professionals, reasonable attorneys’ fees and fees for financial and technical advisors utilized by the Foundation in reviewing and evaluating the proposal and, if selected, to review proposed building plans for compliance with the Florida Building Code and the Capital Project Facilities System.  Developer shall also fund the cost of building consultants and design professionals for review of the progress of the construction, compliance with the building plans and regulations applicable to the construction.

Developer shall procure Payment and Performance bonds prior to construction, each in the full amount of the contract price for the total cost of construction of the Project.

Developer shall procure and maintain public liability insurance in the form and amount satisfactory to the Foundation.

Developer shall enter into a Personal Services Agreement with South Florida State College to reimburse the South Florida State College for the salaries and associated costs for Resident Assistants, Housing Director, IT Support and Groundskeeping relative to the Project.

Developer and South Florida State College shall enter into a cost-sharing agreement for the maintenance of the cross-access areas, including the apron and driveways as depicted on Exhibit A.

Once constructed, the Developer shall maintain rental rates for the student housing at a rate reasonable to area, at an initial rate not to exceed $550 per student, per month, not to exceed 2% increase per annum.

Developer shall provide a minimum of 1 parking space per dormitory bed, not including ADA compliant parking spaces. 

SFSC Student Code of Conduct and Athletic Code of Conduct applies.

Additional Information:

Developer shall propose an annual donation to Foundation for each year of the sublease between the Foundation and developer. The donation is in lieu of rent.

The cost of construction of the project shall be paid solely by the developer, and shall not be an obligation of the Foundation or South Florida State College.

Exhibit A: Proposed Leased Land

Plot of land on College Drive with Site #1 and Future Site labeled


Exhibit B: The Evaluation Criteria for Written Proposals

Criteria   Weight
Professional Qualification (Ability of Professional Personnel)

Experience/Qualifications of Firm

  1. Company credentials
  2. Completed projects of similar scope within last five years
  3. Subconsultants emphasizing similar scope of services
  4. Whether Certified Minority Business Enterprise

Experience of Project Personnel

  1. Organizational chart for personnel assigned to this project
  2. List of project staff
  3. Principal’s credentials
  4. Credentials of the design professionals affiliated with this project
  5. Professional credentials for personnel assigned to this contract
  6. List of licenses held by project staff
Proposed Project
  1. Clear understanding of the scope of the project
  2. Quality and durability of building materials proposed
  3. Visual appeal of the structure
  4. Layout and flow inside the structure
  5. Number of sleeping rooms
  6. Ratio of bathrooms to sleeping rooms
  7. Innovative design techniques
General Business Terms/Past Performance

Litigation and Disputes

  1. Summary of any litigation
  2. Pending litigation and potential disputes
  3. Liquidated damages assessed
  4. License sanctions
  5. Lost or cancelled accounts
  1. Tabulated results of written reference check
  2. Letters of reference included in written submittal
  3. Site visits, if any
  4. Letters of reference for similar projects completed in the last five years
Work Plan
  1. Adequacy of description for performance of the project, including change orders, subcontractors, and material management
  2. Number of calendar days to complete project
  3. Sufficiency of explanation of scheduling methodology
  4. Adequacy of explanation for resolving conflicts with existing activities on SFSC campus and minimizing noise and other disruptions to the SFSC campus activities
  5. Discuss how you manage projects, with emphasis on similar projects
  1. Satisfactory funding in place
  2. Sufficient bonding capacity
  3. Annual amount proposed to be donated to the SFSC Foundation


Questions and Answers

  1. What is the size of the housing project SFSC Foundation is requesting? What is the number of beds needed?

    The SFSC Foundation is allowing the development firm the flexibility to determine the size and/or number of beds for this project. The Foundation currently provides housing accommodations for 80 student athletes. A developer is free to propose a number of beds/units that accommodates current students and a consideration for additional beds/units considering the size of the SFSC student population.

  2. What is the intention of SFSC and the SFSC Foundation for the land shown on Exhibit A, Proposed Leased Land, stated as Future Site?

    Exhibit A shows the proposed leased land of Site No. 1 for Student Housing Accommodations for this particular project. The land shown as Future Site could potentially be for expanded Student Housing Accommodations or as land needed for the College and educational opportunities.

  3. Clarification of what an unduplicated headcount of 6,024 refers to:

    6,024 represents the number of students who enrolled at SFSC during the 2020-2021 academic year.

  4. What development firm(s) submitted the unsolicited proposals?

    1. Heartland Development Group, LLC
    2. A joint development effort between JMJ Development and Short Pants Development