Keller, TX Alta Vista Pump Station CMAR

The Mission Critical team partnered with Felix Construction, to win this $6.5M Alta Vista Pump Station Construction Manager at Risk (CMAR) for the City of Keller, Texas. This competitive, three-phase alternative delivery procurement included a Statement of Qualifications, Statement of Proposal, and extensive preparation for the team interview. Significantly, this project represents Felix’s first alternative delivery pursuit and win in Texas. The project will improve the water / wastewater infrastructure of the City of Keller by expanding the pump station to better meet the City’s water consumption and distribution needs.


The City of Keller (the City) currently receives its water supply from the City of Fort Worth. Approximately 35% of that water supply is delivered through the Alta Vista Pump Station (AVPS). The City cannot meet its regular water demands without the AVPS, but the pump station is currently undersized based on the City’s growth and need. The City has determined that the AVPS will be the primary facility for expanding future water supplies, as delivered from the City of Fort Worth, and will likely expand to account for up to 60% of the City’s overall water needs. The AVPS is currently undersized for these potential demands, especially considering the peaks in demand during a dry Texas summer.

The City is procuring this project to expand the AVPS’s pumping capacity to 18 million gallons per day (18 MGD) to meet its current and future needs. The project includes the construction of a new 18 MGD pump station, demolition of the existing pump station, and the associated construction phasing and sequencing to maintain existing operations along with ancillary facilities. In addition, improvements to the existing facilities are needed to improve safety, reliability and functionality.

Technical Approach

In collaborating with Felix to win this competitive three-stage alternative delivery procurement, Mission Critical focused on providing a high level of technical detail that illustrated Felix’s direct experience in the scope of work outlined by the City of Keller.

For this procurement, Mission Critical was under a significant challenge to deliver a winning product because Felix had identified the Alta Vista Pump Station project as a pivotal pursuit in the firm’s expansion into the Texas alternative delivery market. In response, the Mission Critical team held internal charrettes to develop an approach that would position the Felix team against larger and local Texas firms, then had workshops in Arizona and Texas to identify differentiating strengths in personnel, process, and best practices.

To highlight Felix’s experience within the Phase 1 Statement of Qualifications, Mission Critical comprehensively detailed the firm’s key CMAR water treatment plant and pump station expertise. We then combined this with a robust research effort to fully understand both Keller and Fort Worth’s specifications and delivery preferences.

Because this was an alternative delivery project, it was also imperative to demonstrate the team’s capacity for partnership and the cohesive relationships and shared project experience between proposed team members. Mission Critical ensured the City of Fort Worth was fully integrated into the proposal and approach. This integration was vital as the existing Alta Vista Pump Station took suction from the City of Fort Worth’s East Side II Pressure Plane and North Beach Reservoirs. Through narrative and graphic summaries, Mission Critical detailed the benefit to the City provided by Felix’s capacity to self-perform 80%+ of the scope required on the project using local, in-house resources.

In the Phase 2 Technical Proposal effort, Mission Critical’s writing team worked with Felix to detail the firm’s experience and understanding of Variable Frequency Drives (VFD’s) pump systems. This was an important component of the technical proposal because the electrical utility (Tri-County) placed starting restrictions on the proposed electrical load expected for the Alta Vista Pump Station. These starting restrictions would limit the inrush current allowed to start the pump motors to minimize excessive voltage drops in the electric utility’s system when the motors are started. As a result, the City of Keller was required to specify Variable Frequency Drives (VFD’s) pump systems – a technology the City had not implemented on previous projects.  

As a significant benefit to the project and a differentiating strategy within the Technical Proposal, Felix proposed to continue the pursuit modeling effort within the preconstruction phase. Using this 3D model allowed different disciplines (construction, facilities, maintenance, and design) to collaborate at all phases of the facility design project review.

As Mission Critical developed technical content and narratives, our design team identified an opportunity to concisely support elements of Felix’s approach through 3D Modeling of the site. To compensate for potentially outdated as-built documentation, Mission Critical and Felix team members thoroughly cataloged existing conditions during an initial site visit. Mission Critical then created a focus group to work independently with our 3D modeling team to illustrate proposed logistics, phasing, and utility relocations.

As with most projects, the Mission Critical team maximized the short procurement deadline by utilizing our parallel design and content revision cycles. We proofed the documents in-house and printed the final packages at our local commercial printer to ensure that every page was in order. We then hand-delivered the final Statement of Qualifications to Felix’s office in Texas to submit ahead of the deadline.


Collaborative development of highly technical content is a key benefit to Mission Critical’s pursuit management scope. In pursuing this City of Keller pump station project, Mission Critical and the Felix team overcame two significant hurdles:

  1. Breaking into any market can be difficult, but Texas provides a unique challenge with a strong, existing cadre of local and regional construction firms that dominate many sectors of the market. Mission Critical leveraged our knowledge from other alternative delivery work in the Dallas-Fort Worth region to avoid “boilerplate narrative” and craft unique content that was region, city, and project specific.
  2. Felix was exceptionally qualified to both perform the work and lead the project as the Construction Manager at Risk, but did not bring similar Texas project experience. Even with a local Texas office, their relevant waterworks, pump station, and alternative delivery experience was primarily from other states. Mission Critical’s writing team ensured that every page of the proposal provided a comparison and contrast of similar scopes along with success and lessons learned which Felix would bring to the City.

We are excited to have pursued this City of Keller project and help to earn a key win with the Felix team. Preconstruction for this project is slated to start in November, 2017.

Key Information

Alternative Delivery Experts

Great pursuits and winning proposals require amazing ideas, the right people, and the grit to get the job done.

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