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Backyard Project
A Regenerative Learning Ecosystem

Project Overview RFQ

BUSD and BSERC intend to hire a qualified Landscape Architecture Design Team committed to community-informed, environmentally and culturally relevant practices, and cutting-edge design work to develop construction documents for the Backyard Project: Regenerative Learning Ecosystem.

Thea Van Gorp 

Project Director, Bisbee Science Lab


Photo link if expired on RFQ:


December 1, 2022 - RFQ Solicitation Released
December 1, 2022 - Advertisements for Submittals 
December 16, 2022 - Virtual Q&A/Information Session - 12:00-1:00 pm MST 
January 13, 2023 - Virtual Q&A/Information Session - 12:00-1:00 pm MST 

Topic: Regenerative Learning Ecosystem RFQ Q&A Session

Time: Dec 16, 2022 12:00 PM Arizona

Time: Jan 13, 2023 12:00 PM Arizona

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 813 8026 1014

Passcode: 679335

January 23, 2023 - Last Day to Submit Written Questions 

January 26, 2023 -  Deadline to Submit SOQ
January 26, 2023 - 3:30 pm, Public Opening of Proposals 
January 30, 2023 - February 3, 2023 - Notify Top Submitters to Enter Contract Negotiations 
February 14, 2023 - School Board Vote 
February 15, 2023 - Contract Awarded by BUSD 
February, 2023 - (to be negotiated) - Community Engagement with Design Team & Design Development 
Final Drafts of Design (to be negotiated) 

Submitting SOQ

For more information, refer to Section 5. Submittal Requirements in the RFQ or email the Project Director.

Submission Deadline:

January 26, 2023 at 3:30 pm ​


Submission Location: 

BUSD/BSERC Regenerative Learning Ecosystem RFQ Solicitation 22-001

Attn.  Thea Van Gorp, Project Director

Bisbee Unified School District

519 Melody Lane

Bisbee AZ 85603


Please submit all questions to the Project Director at  All questions and responses will be made public below. Any inquiry related to a solicitation for qualifications shall refer to the appropriate solicitation number, page number, paragraph, and line of text in this RFQ.

Thea Van Gorp 

Project Director, Bisbee Science Lab



  • Budget: Has a budget for design (Section 4, Scope of Work) been set?

    • We do have a budget, but because this is just a call for qualifications, we have not included it. Once we enter negotiations with the top qualified firms, we will negotiate and explain our budget in those meetings.  ​

  • Deadline: The RFQ deadline is December 29. With the holidays, many people are taking time off, and that makes it hard to coordinate with team members and prepare the proposal. Would BUSB & BSERC consider moving the submittal deadline to mid-January?

    • Yes! We just extended the deadline to January 26, 2023!​

  • Insurance requirements: The insurance requirements listed in Section 9, p. 17 are very high, and I think unobtainable for most landscape architecture firms. Would BUSB & BSERC consider lowering these amounts? And will firms without this coverage lose points / not be considered?

    • The insurance requirements are dictated by BUSD. I suggest that you submit your proof of insurance even if it is not as high as the required amount. This will not automatically disqualify you but might be something we would have to negotiate further with the legal team. ​

  • What are the expectations for the field station designs? Who needs to be on our team to support their development? ​

    • The field stations are a unique part of the project. We are developing partnerships with local experts and building community resource teams that will help develop the content. As far as the physical design goes, there are no strict requirements, but we do want the field stations to be spaces of ongoing community science and experimentation that is accessible both with the guidance of an educator or independently. They may be physical stations or just parts of the park, we are excited to work with the design team to figure it out! In the long term, our goal is that they are to some degree modular so that they can be updated as new technologies emerge, and so that they might be developed as a product for community science. ​Whomever you feel can support this on a team is appropriate to include in your submission. 

  • How secure does this area need to be? 

    • Our goal is for it to be accessible as a park would be for the community. We expect that there will be some security but that it should be open to the public. If there are security elements, like fencing, our hope is to make them artistic and engaging and not barriers that make people feel unwelcome. Given that it is BUSD property, there will be security that is tied to the school. ​

  • Who will approve the construction documents? 

    • Construction documents will need to be approved by the school board and by the City of Bisbee. ​

  • What weather considerations should we consider? 

    • Southeastern Arizona's weather ranges throughout the year. Summers can get up to 100* F but usually only during the middle of the day while nights tend to cool down. We also have monsoons during the summer that are magical, short, but intense rain/lightning storms that usually come in from the south/southwest. Winters can get very cold, particularly at night and we do get snow but usually very briefly. Spring can be very windy and fall is usually fairly nice. Designs will need to be able to withstand and work with these weather conditions. ​

  • What kind of mock-ups will you need? What will they be used for? 

    • Mock-ups of the design or design elements will be used for various audiences. The first is for the community engagement events so that our community partners can get a sense of the design, provide ideas and feedback, and feel they clearly understand the work. That includes adults, K-12 students, and individuals whose first language is not English. We can help provide connections for translations.  These mock-ups will also be used to apply for funds for the construction phase. We do not have specific requirements for how you might do that, but we want this information to be accessible to as many audiences as possible, engaging, and exciting. We would welcome digital mock-ups, 3D renderings, and storyboards... you could even use our VR Lounge for an immersive experience! Once we have a team in place we will negotiate what makes the most sense for the firm and for our audiences. ​

  • Do you have the funds for construction? How will the design schedule work with the build schedule? 

    • We currently do not have the funds for construction but will be working on acquiring that funding during the design phase. We anticipate that we will have to phase out the construction with the design to some extent. Our goal is to have designs that we can use to raise money, but they do not need to be fully completed so that once construction begins, contractors are able to work with the design team to make sure that everything is cohesive. We will need anticipated construction costs so it might be beneficial to have someone on your team that would be able to do that. ​

  • What support is there for the community engagement element? Particularly given that you have already done a year's worth of engagement? 

    • We will absolutely support the design team for the community engagement element. We have developed strong relationships over the last year and realize the value of that work. We will continue to be the familiar faces and help design teams to plan, coordinate, and market community engagement events with the hopes that you too will be familiar faces once this is done. ​

  •  I understand that the distance may be an issue but an open to working around it in creative and strategic ways. What is your thought on working with firms from out of state? 

    • We are definitely open to working with firms outside of AZ. Distance is not an issue and we are open to finding creative solutions to distance challenges. 

  •  ​Have you  considered accepting proposals via email since delivery overnight is difficult?

    • Unfortunately, it is a requirement of BUSD to have a physical copy. I would suggest sending it as early as possible as overnights are particularly challenging in rural areas as I'm sure you know. Also, as mentioned in the RFQ, I highly suggest using USPS and not another carrier. They are the most reliable here. I apologize for the added inconvenience. ​

  • What part of the SF 330 are you wanting filled out? Part I - CONTRACT-SPECIFIC QUALIFICATIONS (Sections A-I) or Part II GENERAL QUALIFICATIONS? 

    • We would like both sections filled out. Part I gives us more detailed information about your team and relevant projects, and Part II will give us the more general information we need about your firm. 

  • What document are you referring to when you ask on page 11 the items below? Is this for one of the specific SF 330 pages.

Fill the following SF330 questions with these answers:

Question 1 Title/Location – BUSD/BSERC Regenerative Learning Ecosystem – Bisbee AZ

Question 2 Public Notice Date – December 1, 2022

Question 3 Project Number – BUSD – 22-001


    • There are the answers for the Contract Information in Part 1 of the SF 330.

  • Do you want the client to answer the questions given on the waiver below? If so, do you want us to provide a precise date of effectivity on the document? The records to be released are for the purpose of and the last date of effectivity? 

    • The records to be released are for the purpose of: review of your application for the Backyard Project.​

    • For the date, you are welcome to put a specific date if that's preferable to you. If so, please do so on February 14th at the earliest in the event that we need more time for negotiations and board approval. You can also send us an email when you would like to revoke it if you don't want to put a specific date.

Q&A Information Session 1

See the recording of the December 16th Q&A session:

Q&A Information Session 2

See the recording of the January 13th Q&A session:

Funded By:

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