Project Opportunities: Requests for Proposals and Expressions of Interest

Through a Cooperative Agreement with the National Park Service, we occasionally have need to seek experienced professionals to complete historic preservation research and other projects.  Please see below for any open Requests for Proposals, or Expressions of Interest.

Request for Proposals - Scaled Templates and Tools for Historic Structure Reports and Cultural Landscape Reports

Deadline: September 18, 2020. The National Park Service (NPS) is seeking the services of a qualified individual, firm, or organization (contractor) through a cooperative agreement with the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers (NCSHPO) to prepare a scaled set of alternative products for providing guidance for historic structures and cultural landscapes. These should include templates, outlines, decision trees and other tools, based on existing NPS Cultural Landscape Report (CLR) and Historic Structure Report (HSR) formats as outlined in National Park Service (NPS) Director’s Order 28: Cultural Resource Management Guideline. HSRCLR RFP Final (.pdf)

Questions submitted and answers:

  1. Would you please define a “scaled template?” – The developed template should be able to tier-off or scale up or down depending on the complexity of the project. The purpose of this solicitation is to develop alternatives to both a standard Historic Structures Report and a standard Cultural Landscape Report. The alternatives should be reporting templates that “will provide resource stewards and facility managers with guidance for identifying a scope and level of investigation that is appropriately scaled based on a historic property’s significance, historical integrity, and condition, is adequately focused on the proposed treatment, and identifies the current state of knowledge available about the resource.”For instance if only a minor level of physical work is needed to further the preservation of a particular structure or landscape, it would be useful to have a template for how that undertaking could be accomplished without a traditional HSR or CLR. In other words, the RFP is asking for the development of a set of templates, each scaled to guide a different level of intervention while also taking into account differing levels of significance, integrity, etc.   
  2. “Scope of Work” on page 3 references “three landscape-focused and three structure-focused template approaches and corresponding tools.” Does this mean three alternative sets of templates and tools? How would they be differentiated? Would there not be one final template/tool set? – It is not the intent of this RFP to develop new products that would supplant the current HSR and CLR study formats where their application is appropriate. It is rather to supplement those report types with a set of treatment documents that may be utilized when a full restoration or major rehabilitation is not envisioned.” If a less elaborate (and hence less expensive) document can adequately guide preservation treatments, then it makes sense that an alternative to the standard HSR/CLR be developed and applied in those cases. The 3 templates i.e. small, smaller, smallest scenario is not far from what is being sought. A single template that is itself scalable, is product type that would be acceptable if the contractor can demonstrate how it can be effectively applied to situations that require less complete documentation than the HSR/CLR.  Additionally, the contractor can develop templates “intended to possess the ability to be scaled based upon the criteria noted for Component 2, item #5 – significance, condition, and proposed intervention – for each property that the template may be applied to.” Either scenario would be an acceptable end product.
  3. Is there an expected or preferred format for the decision-making tools? Will these be distributed as brochures/guides to resource stewards and facility managers? Or do you expect the tools will be a digital platform that will be made accessible to these individuals? – While there is no set format for the decision-making tools; the goal is for all resulting processes/materials be used in the field both by cultural resource and facility managers and should be in a “plain language” and user-friendly format. These products would be made available both in a printed and digital format.
  4. If a digital platform is expected for the decision-making tools, please describe the contractor’s responsibility to create the final digital product. Or will the recommendations of the contractor be incorporated by NCSHPO or NPS into a platform of their own creation? – See answer 3, the response to RFP should address what functionality a digital platform could provide and how it will correspond to printed materials. Again, there is no set expectation of the final product accept functionality for the field.
  5. The RFP notes that the deliverables include three scaled templates for Historic Structure Reports (HSR) and Cultural Landscape Reports (CLR). Could you explain in more detail how these templates are scaled? Are the three HSR and CLR templates intended to scale based on project size in relation to one another (such as small, smaller, smallest)? Or is each template intended to possess the ability to be scaled based upon the criteria noted for Component 2, item #5 – significance, condition, and proposed intervention – for each property that the template may be applied to? – Please review the above answers which we think are responsive to this question.
  6. The Selection Criteria on Page 7 of the RFP calls for “Successful experience preparing and creating template-based surveys and procedures.” We assume that’s correct, but we ask because #4 on Page 2 describes “prior experience developing templates or tools that facilitate decision making,” which seems somewhat different. Are we correct in providing information to back up the experience as listed in the selection criteria? – We are looking for a template or tool that helps facilitate decision making on treatment AND a survey/procedure. Since HSRs and CLRs both create a history of a site and condition (i.e. survey) and they layout treatment options/decisions for the resource. Therefore providing information that backs up your experience in either way or both is appropriate.
  7. Is there an anticipated budget? – While we have the funds available, given the unique nature of the project we would like to review the approaches and corresponding costs proposed by each candidate.  The project may have some scalability and we would like to evaluate costs relative to our overall goals. 
  8. Under Project Deliverables, Component 1: Assessment #2,   the RFP says that NPS can provide typical facilities projects ranging from simple to complex. May we get those examples now? – Those examples are not currently pulled but will be available at a project kick off meeting when a consultant is selected. However, if a potential consultant were to look at the NPS property portfolio one could start to understand the level of size/variety/complexity that is managed by the NPS and thus could potentially need a tiered HSR or CLR. Additionally, numerous past HSRs and CLRs completed by the NPS are publicly available through an internet search.
  9. Under Project Deliverables, Component 1: Assessment #1, the RFP says we will interview a variety of stakeholders. Who will identify the participants–NPS or consultant? Is there an anticipated number of interviews? – NPS, NCSHPO, AND the selected consultant would create a stakeholder list of interviewees. There is no anticipated number or capped amount however it would be a “reasonable” amount based on project need.
  10. Is there an anticipated schedule? – The goal is to complete the project in 12 months or less however we recognize some of the review periods could extend this timeline. 
  11. The RFP lists 5 deliverables. Each is to have a 30-day review at 75% and 95% submittal. Plus I assume the final report will also need to be reviewed. So at a minimum, there are 12 months of review time built into the schedule in addition to consultants’ work preparing submittals and responding to comments, etc. Is this correct? – Please see the above answer. Since this project will largely involve the review of existing processes the goal is to complete this effort in 12 months or less.

Request for Proposals - Reconstruction Era National Register Nomination

Deadline: June 22, 2020. The National Park Service (NPS) is seeking the services of a qualified consultant through a cooperative agreement with the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers (NCSHPO) to prepare a complete National Historic Landmark (NHL) nomination for a property associated with the Restored Government of Virginia located in Alexandria, Virginia, from 1863 to 1865, according to requirements specified in this Request for Proposals (RFP). The contract is to be administered by NCSHPO and the work prepared for and completed in coordination with the National Historic Landmarks Program (NHL Program). RFP NHL – FINAL (.pdf)

Request for Proposals - National Park Service Mission 66 Facility Determinations of Eligibility Project

Deadline: June 20, 2020. The National Park Service (NPS) is seeking the services of a qualified individual, firm, or organization (contractor) through a cooperative agreement with the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers (NCSHPO) to prepare up to eight National Register of Historic Places (NR) Determinations of Eligibility (DOEs) for Mission 66 campground properties in the NPS system and develop a simplified DOE “template” for evaluating Mission 66 campground properties for NR eligibility. Depending on project funding availability, the project could also include the development of a report with standardized preservation treatments for Mission 66 campground resources informed by the campgrounds identified in this project scope. These project components must be created in accordance with the requirements specified in this Request for Proposals (RFP). The contract is administered by NCSHPO and the work is prepared, completed, and reviewed in coordination with the State Historic Preservation Offices (SHPOs) and the National Park Service Cultural Resources, Partnerships, and Science directorate. RFP NPS Mission 66 DOE Project (.pdf)

Questions Submitted and Answers:

  1. I understand that NPS files related to each campground will be provided to the contracted consultant, but do you know if any of the sites have been surveyed recently?  – The NPS has to compete condition assessments for all park assets every 5 years so some level of resource condition data will be available for each site. Additionally, the NPS has several projects in process around campgrounds and specifically campgrounds in these 5 identified parks; there is some site and survey data available due to those ongoing projects but it will vary park to park. 
  2. What is the expected timeline for this project? The expectation is that the project will be completed by no later than next June with a preference for an earlier completion if possible.
  3. Can you share the budget for the project? – At this stage, while we have funds available, we would like to review what is proposed by potential candidates.  The project may have some scalability – and we would like to be able to evaluate costs relative to our overall goals.
  4. Can you clarify the deadline? The RFP mentions both June 19th and June 20th.  – We apologize for the error in the RFP.  To be fair, we are happy to accept submissions until 5:00 PM ET on June 20th, 2020.
  5. Does the task include detailed treatment plans for the campgrounds surveyed, to be carried out as part of the project? Or is the requirement for a general plan that might be applicable throughout a campground, park, or multiple parks?  – The requirement is for a general plan that might be applicable throughout a campground, park, or multiple parks.  That said, if funding is available, we would like to see a set of standardized treatment recommendations for Mission 66 properties.
  6. Where will the NPS meeting occur? – At this point the plan is for a virtual meeting.
  7. Just to confirm, deliverables for the project will include 8 National Register DOEs completed on National Register forms with eligibility and integrity assessments.  As opposed to DOE assessments being completed on the individual state/SHPO DOE forms like the PIF form in Virginia for instance? – This will somewhat depend on coordination with the each individual SHPO so they should plan on having to complete SHPO specific forms even if that changes as the project goes forward.
  8. If we find in the course of our process that one of the campsites is not eligible we would instead prepare a letter report rather than a National Register form? – That is correct if a site is determined not eligible they would be preparing a letter with support documentation rather than a DOE
  9. Just confirming that the completed DOEs will help inform the process to develop a simplified DOE template process moving forward after the site visits and initial preparation of the 8 DOEs?  – The simplified process can be developed during and/or after the 8 assessments; my guess is it will be an iterative process so it might be helpful to be doing both efforts at the same time with the finalization of the simplified process at the completion of the 8 assessments. 
  10. We assume that treatment plans will only be needed for National Register eligible campgrounds? Is that correct? Can we provide a per-site cost for that option since we don’t know the number of eligible sites? – If funding is available, a set of standardized treatment recommendations for Mission 66 properties is desired. The complexity of those treatment recommendations may depend upon the number of sites that end up being considered eligible for the National Register. Therefore, a cost per campground estimate could be a valid approach.
  11. Will the contract will be awarded on a fixed fee or time and materials basis? – Fixed fee. Though due to the nature of the project, we expect there may need to be some scalability that would end up being informed by the time and materials incurred by the contractor.
  12. Is there a page limit for responses?  – No.
  13. Are there formatting requirements for the response, such as specific font, font sizes, margins, or line spacing? – No.
  14. The RFP does not include a deadline for questions. If questions are received/answered less than seven days before the deadline, will NCSHPO consider extending the deadline? – We do not anticipate extending the deadline at this time.
  15. How many drafts will be required for the DOEs and/or treatment documents submitted to NCSHPO and the NPS for review?  – It will somewhat be dependent on each site’s complexity but we anticipate two drafts are likely before the DOE(s) are finalized.
  16. Will printed deliverables be required for draft DOEs and/or treatment documents submitted to NCSHPO and the NPS? – Most if not all deliverables will be electronic submission only. If the project scope includes design guidelines there might be a requirement for printed drafts to review.
  17. Will printed deliverables be required for final DOEs and/or treatment documents submitted to NCSHPO and the NPS? – See the above answers.
  18. What level of documentation will be required for small-scale elements on contributing sites (e.g., fire circles, picnic tables, etc.)? Minimal—the documentation needs will be dependent on how each element contributes to the overall district.
  19. Will they be documented as individual objects/structures (i.e., one inventory entry for each small-scale object), or will they be documented as character-defining features of the site (i.e., one inventory entry per site, with a field listing all associated small-scale elements)? It could be either depending upon the district and the feature.
  20. Can NPS provide guidance on whether multiple adjacent campsites will be documented as a single site or multiple sites? It will be dependent upon the site.
  21. Will a photo key map be required? Yes on a photo key and likely yes on a map or at minimum updates to existing NPS maps.