Some quick answers to questions about the 2012 HISD Bond

As HISD kicks of its 2012 bond program, here are a few answers to questions you might have on the process of replacing or renovating 38 schools across the city. Many details, including the construction timeline for specific schools, are under review and will be finalized in the coming weeks. Until then, here’s a quick overview of what to expect:

Where is my school on the construction schedule?

The district is working with a third-party consultant to develop a phasing plan to accommodate school programs. Some schools will see construction begin in 2014. Others will begin in 2016 or later, depending on needs and site-specific conditions.

How long does it take to design and build a school?

Typically, the design and engineering of a new school takes 18 to 24 months. Construction time is an additional 18 to 24 months, depending on the complexity of the project.

Will classes still be held at those schools being renovated or rebuilt?

Administrators, in conjunction with each school’s Project Advisory Team, will look at the best ways to phase construction to ensure student learning is not disrupted. In some cases, some students may be moved to temporary buildings on campus or relocated to other district-owned facilities during the construction work.

In all cases, the district will ensure that student safety and security is maintained and that academic programs aren’t compromised.

How can parents or students stay informed on the construction progress at their school?

Each bond school will establish a Project Advisory Team for their campus. These teams include the principal, staff, parents, community members and sometimes students. That group will work directly with the project managers to give input and track progress, typically through a regular monthly meeting that is open to the public.

Where will students practice for athletic events during construction?

In some cases, new buildings may be built on a school’s existing athletic fields. The district would then seek to use properties in close proximity, such as city parks or nearby schools, for team practices.