HISD’s African American Advisory Committee heard firsthand Tuesday the latest updates on the 2012 bond program, which includes an ongoing pledge to keep Houston’s minority community informed on opportunities to do business with the district.
“We’re here to stand as a community, and we want to provide as much opportunity as we can,” said Robert Sands, the district’s officer of Construction & Facility Services.
Sands gave the 18-member committee an overview of the bond program’s key milestones to date, including details on construction phasing and the process for selecting the architects and engineers to design the 40 schools slated to be rebuilt or renovated under the 2012 bond program.
Committee President Jeffrey L. Boney asked for more information about how the district came up with its timeline, which includes starting construction this summer on two of the smallest high schools, North Early College and South Early College.
“We want to roll things out as fast as we can,” said Sands, who reiterated the promise by HISD Superintendent Terry Grier to deliver a quality construction program that’s on budget and on time.
When asked by Committee member Caronetta Jones how the district would ensure quality, Sands outlined new policies and oversight methods: “It’s going to get done right,” he said.
Alexis Licata, HISD’s general manager of Business Assistance, said her office was available to help all firms, including Minority and Women Business Enterprises, which may want to take part in the 2012 bond program. Among her office’s initiatives are notifying businesses about new bid opportunities, holding networking events for companies that want to partner, and scheduling regular workshops on a variety of business topics, including understanding RFPs and RFQs.
In upcoming weeks, the district will release new bid opportunities in the areas of certified payroll and labor compliance and safety and security, she said.
Committee member John Robinson stressed the importance of communication throughout the bond program, so that the district is able to keep public confidence.
“The more you make public to the community what you’re doing ahead of time, the better off you are,” he said.
For more information about HISD’s bond programs, please visit www.houstonisd.org/bond