The Houston Independent School District is launching a new series of videos to help explain different aspects of the 2012 bond program that will renovate, replace or rebuild 40 schools across the city.
The short videos, designed for both web and TV, cover topics such as procurement and insurance on bond projects, as well as the benefits of building schools that are environmentally sustainable. The goal is to give viewers a quick snapshot into how the district is moving forward with its $1.89 billion building plan.
Alexis Licata, general manager of HISD’s Office of Business Assistance, discusses how the district is trying to increase supplier diversity with its program for minority and women-owned businesses.
“We want to assist minority women businesses [in obtaining] contracts,” Licata says in the video. “Whether that’s obtaining as a prime supplier with HISD or obtaining business as a subcontractor to do business with HISD.”
HISD aims to provide equal access to procurement opportunities for all qualified vendors and suppliers, including M/WBEs. Additionally, the district’s Procurement Department helps companies navigate the process of doing business with HISD.
“We have to be good stewards for the taxpayers and good stewards of HISD’s financial resources,” says HISD’s Chris Gross, general manager of Procurement.
In addition to providing the best value to taxpayers, the district works to protect its investment by ensuring all companies involved with the HISD bond program are bonded, or insured , to help guarantee all parties get paid and perform the proper services based on their contract.
“A bond is important to protect the interest of laborers on construction projects,” says HISD’s Kermit Falgout, senior manager of Risk Management. “We have performance and payment bonds purchased by the contractor, which guarantees laborers are paid properly.”
As the district prepares to replace and rebuild campuses throughout the city, Robert Sands, HISD’s Officer of Construction and Facility Services, describes the planning and design of a new school.
“We’ve got a team that’s going to go into the schools and do the planning with the principals, advisory committee and also with the community leaders,” Sands says.
The district has also emphasized its commitment to building schools that are environmentally responsible.
On the “Building a Green School” video, Dan Bankhead, general manager of HISD’s Construction Services, discusses how such building practices make good sense for business and education.
“The best benefit we see is that teachers and students are embracing these new sustainable facilities as teaching tools,” Bankhead says. “They really use it as a part of their curriculum.”
If you have additional questions about any information on the videos, please visit www.houstonisd.org.