Schools, libraries, hospitals, courthouses, and government buildings serve as the cornerstone of society and facilitate core functions of democracy. Despite the critical role these facilities play in our daily lives, our public buildings, often referred to as social infrastructure, are crumbling.
With investment needs that far outstrip available public funding, and regulations that do not optimize facility delivery and maintenance, states, cities, counties, and other government agencies should consider new tools to efficiently and cost-effectively fix the schools, upgrade the government buildings, and modernize the healthcare facilities that are essential to our social well-being, quality of life, and the future of our society. To that end, this paper explores:
- Public-private partnerships (P3s) and alternative financing and delivery models to attract private capital and innovation to address social infrastructure needs;
- Common themes observed across various delivery models; and
- Common factors in successful alternatively financed and delivered social infrastructure projects.
These topics are viewed through the lens of two recent justice facility projects being delivered using distinct alternative financing and delivery models. Champions of the Howard County Circuit Courthouse and Travis County Civil and Family Courts Facility sought creative approaches to complete long-overdue social infrastructure projects when traditional methods could not meet public goals.