Board of Education Approves 11 More Contracts for Work Related to 2012 Bond

Selected projects include five more schools and athletic facility upgrades

May 9, 2013 – The HISD Board of Education authorized the district to negotiate design contracts with six firms on selected 2012 bond projects, including two of the district’s renowned specialty high schools – DeBakey High School for the Health Professions and the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts.

Also approved were contracts with five program management firms to oversee construction within the 2012 program.

HISD officials have spent nearly four months 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 nearly 70 percent of voters in November, will also fund middle school restroom renovations, technology upgrades, and safety and security upgrades.

As part of the review for the latest round of design contracts, the district invited members of each school’s staff and community members to hear presentations from up to three finalists selected for each project. Their feedback helped guide the district’s selections.

Listed below are the most highly qualified firms selected for the projects:

  • DeBakey High School (new facility): WHR Architects, Inc./Lake Flato Architects
  • District Athletic Improvements: PBK Architects, Inc. (also known as PBK Sports)
  • Dowling Middle School (new facility): Harrison-Kornberg Architects, LLC
  • Eastwood Academy (new facility): Prozign, Inc.
  • High School for the Performing and Visual Arts (new facility): M. Arthur Gensler, Jr. and Associates, Inc.
  • Parker Elementary (new facility): Brave/Architecture, Inc.


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.

To date, HISD has heard oral presentations from about three dozen firms. All firms, including those not invited for presentations to date, will remain under consideration for other 2012 bond projects, including 16 remaining schools.

All the firms 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).

Two of the firms — Harrison-Kornberg Architects, LLC and Brave/Architecture, Inc., 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. The other four companies have committed to contracting at least 25 percent of their work to M/WBE consultants.

The Board of Education also authorized the district to negotiate contracts with five firms to provide program management services for the 2012 bond program. Those firms are:

  • Heery International, Inc.
  • Jacobs Project Management Co.
  • Kwame Building Group, Inc.
  • Rice Gardner Consultants, Inc.
  • URS Corp.

The firms were selected from a pool of 19 that submitted statements of qualifications by the March 19 deadline. All of the firms will remain under consideration for 2012 bond projects. One of the five firms ­— Kwame Building Group, Inc., is a certified M/WBE. The other four firms have committed to contracting 32 percent to 50 percent of their work to M/WBE consultants.

Overall, the commitments by the design and program management firms will ensure 51 percent participation by M/WBE firms for the contracts approved so far in 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.