HISD Administrators recommend eight firms for selected projects; more recommendations to come
Administrators are recommending that the Board of Education authorize the district to negotiate contracts with eight firms on selected 2012 bond projects, including four schools and middle school restroom renovations.
HISD officials spent several weeks reviewing qualifications submitted by 85 architectural and engineering firms seeking to do work with the district under the 2012 bond program, which will build or renovate 40 schools across the district. The $1.89 billion bond program, approved by voters in November, will also fund middle school restroom renovations, technology upgrades, and safety and security upgrades.
“We are excited to bring forward this recommendation after weeks of careful consideration,” said HISD Superintendent Terry Grier. “These contracts are the first in a bond program that will give our students and teachers the infrastructure to support 21st century learning.”
To assist in the review and selection process, administrators solicited the expertise of professors from the University of Houston, Rice University, and Prairie View A&M University schools of architecture.
The HISD selection committee invited 36 firms to provide oral presentations. All firms, including those not invited for the presentations, will remain under consideration for other 2012 bond projects.
Listed below are the most highly qualified firms recommended for the selected projects:
- Middle school restroom renovations: Robert Adams, Inc.; VCS; English & Associates, Inc.; and Courtney Harper + Partners, Inc.
- North Houston Early College High School (new facility): RdlR Architects, Inc.
- South Early College High School (new facility): Smith & Company Architects, Inc.
- Waltrip High School (partial replacement and general renovations): Gensler
- Worthing High School (new facility incorporating new 2-story classroom wing): Molina Walker Architects, Inc.
Approval by the HISD Board of Education at its meeting at 5.p.m. on Feb. 14, 2013, in the Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center (4400 West 18th Street) will authorize HISD to negotiate contracts with the recommended firms, which were evaluated using several criteria, including experience, quality of services, and commitment to HISD’s stated goals for participation by minority and women-owned business enterprises (M/WBEs).
Six of the recommended firms are certified M/WBEs, which means they are at least 51 percent owned by one of the following groups: African-American, Hispanic-American, Asian-American, Native-American or women. They are: Robert Adams, Inc.; English & Associates, Inc.; Courtney Harper + Partners, Inc.; RdlR Architects, Inc.; Smith & Company Architects, Inc.; and Molina Walker Architects, Inc.
The two other companies, VCS and Gensler, are committing to contracting no less than 25 percent of their work to M/WBE consultants. All are firms with a local Houston presence.
Overall, the district’s recommendation will ensure a 75 percent participation rate by M/WBE firms for this portion of the 2012 bond program. HISD’s minimum M/WBE goal levels are 20 percent for all levels of purchasing and construction and 25 percent for professional services.
“The 2012 Bond Program offers many opportunities for our diverse business community and our goal is to ensure a process that provides equal access to all qualified firms,” said HISD Chief Operating Officer Leo Bobadilla.
Administrators expect to bring forward more recommendations on bond projects to the Board of Education in the coming weeks.