November 19, 2010 10:28 ET

Partnership With Colorado City Earns National Honors

Centennial, CH2M HILL Team Up to Deliver Public Works Services

DENVER, CO--(Marketwire - November 19, 2010) - The National Council for Public-Private Partnerships recognized the City of Centennial, Colo., and CH2M HILL with one of its coveted 2010 Public-Private Partnership Awards during a dinner at the NCPPP annual meeting Nov. 17 in Arlington, Va.

The partnership for public works services -- one of the largest of its kind in the nation -- has been selected in the Service Award category, one of only six awards presented.

"Public-private partnerships are at the heart of what we do, so it's a tremendous honor to be recognized by experts in the field," says Elisa M. Speranza, president of CH2M HILL's Operations & Maintenance Business Group, who accepted the award with Centennial public works director Dave Zelenok. "From the beginning, Centennial established a vision to be an 'intentional' city -- lean, with limited staff, outsourcing key activities where ever possible. CH2M HILL is proud to help the city realize that vision and better serve its citizens."

Incorporated in 2001 with more than 100,000 residents, Centennial contracts for services such as law enforcement allowing the city to be cost-effective and efficient with resources. In fall 2007, however, Centennial decided to launch its own public works department, citing a desire for improved services.

After evaluating its options to either bring operations in-house or outsource them, Centennial chose to partner with CH2M HILL and on July 1, 2008, began delivering public works services. Under the partnership, the city retains direct operational control with CH2M HILL acting as an extension of the city. Services range from transportation planning and traffic engineering and operations to infrastructure maintenance. Two strategic subcontractors, AECOM and Terracare Associates, directly support the partnership. Two other consultants to the city, Short Elliott Hendrickson and Merrick & Company, provide capital improvement program management and quality assurance/quality control services, respectively.

CH2M HILL also created a 24-hour call center to serve as a single point of contact for all citizen concerns, not just public works. Calls are translated into priority-ranked work orders and tracked through completion, and citizens receive status updates.

"Our assessments show the partnership is a resounding success," says Centennial Mayor Cathy A. Noon. "Citizens have noticed a significant improvement in service and responsiveness to their needs. The award-winning 24/7 call center illustrates the dedication we have to our community and customer service, and it is a huge part of the success of the city's public works program. I have been highly impressed with CH2M HILL."

The NCPPP awards recognize exemplary projects and services that illustrate the best practices and innovative approaches in the use of public-private partnerships. The partnership award winners have effectively combined the strengths of each sector for the most cost-effective delivery of services and infrastructure, while maintaining an appropriate level of public control.

"Award recipients are selected through an extremely thoughtful process by a committee of leading authorities in the field of public-private partnerships and this year's competition was especially formidable," says NCPPP Executive Director Rick Norment, who will tour the public works operation and present the award to the Centennial City Council at its Dec. 6 meeting.

Headquartered in Denver, Colo., employee-owned CH2M HILL is a global leader in consulting, design, design-build, operations and program management for government, civil, industrial and energy clients. With $6.3 billion in revenue and 23,500 employees, CH2M HILL is an industry-leading program management, construction management and design firm, as ranked by Engineering News-Record (2010). The firm's work is concentrated in the areas of water, transportation, environmental, energy and power, and facilities and infrastructure. The firm has long been recognized as a most-admired company and leading employer. Visit

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