Facilities Services Division


1702 N. Alamo, Suite 307
San Antonio, Texas 78215-1213

Phone: (210) 554-2420
Fax: (210) 271-3330
    

Bond_QA

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Questions and Answers 

Q: 

What is a Bond Issue? 

A: 

A Bond Issue is one way to finance major construction projects in a school district or other government organization. The governing board of an organization reviews its options, calls for an election and sets the amount of money it needs in the form of bonds sold on the financial market. The district receives the revenue from the bond sale, allowing it to build the facilities it needs while repaying the bonds over a period of 10 years or longer. The district can issue bonds only after voter approval in a bond election. 

  

 

Q: 

How can bond funds be used? 

A: 

Money from the bond election can be used only for the construction of new facilities, renovation of current buildings, school sites, equipment, furnishings or technology.

  

 

Q: 

Are there plans for another bond issue? 

A: 

Although the District has made great strides in providing quality facilities for our students, there still is much to be done. The District is continuously working on ways to improve its facilities to offer the best possible learning environment for all students. The Board of Trustees may elect to commission an updated facilities assessment and request community support for another bond.

  

 

Q: 

How does the School District decide which campuses will be improved?  

A: 

Projects for the 1997 Bond program were identified by a consultant hired by the Board of Trustees based on the priorities of safety, health and code improvements, instructional improvements, instructional support improvements and deferred maintenance. Projects for the 2001 Bond program were identified by programmatic needs and are a continuation of work done under the 1997 Bond.

  

 

Q: 

Who decides what work will be done at my school?

A:

The original scope of work is taken from the Facilities Assessment Program (FAP), produced by an independent consultant with input from each respective campus and their stakeholders, and modified to meet current needs of each campus. A building committee - including school staff, parents, neighborhood businesses, and COC representatives - is formed at every school to work with the architect to verify priorities established in the FAP. Priorities are added or deleted to meet educational needs while staying within the allocated budgets.

 

 

Q:

What is the status of construction at my school?

A:

Project information is available online at http://www.saisd.net/bond/bond_home.shtm. Through the Campuses page, one can find updates on project status for each of the District's 92 campuses. Printable reports are also available on the Reports page of the site.

 

 

Q:

How can I find out what is the financial status on a particular construction project?

A:

Financial information for all projects is constantly changing as work progresses. Funding information is available on the individual campus sites online at http://www.saisd.net/bond/bond_home.shtm.

 

 

Q:

Why have portions of my school project been taken out?

A:

It is the District's intent to provide the best possible learning environment for all of its students. Unfortunately, sometimes there are not sufficient funds to do everything wanted or needed immediately. The design teams meet with each school's building committee to address and prioritize project elements. Plans for any work not within the existing budget are held onto for implementation once funding is identified, possibly in a future bond issue.

 

 

Q:

Why has the construction schedule for my school changed?

A:

While the District works diligently to oversee and ensure that hired architects and contractors deliver quality facilities in a timely manner, construction is often subject to many variables, such as weather, unforeseen conditions, and changes in City code requirements, among others. Every effort is made to expedite progress while maintaining a safe environment and ensuring quality workmanship.

 

 

Q:

What safety precautions are taken during construction?

A:

Safety of students is the District's number one priority during construction. Safety/security fencing is placed around all construction sites to provide a barrier between the student population and the job site. Contractors are prohibited from interacting with any students and are not allowed to consume alcohol or tobacco on District property.

 

 

 

In addition, there is continuous supervision of all workers. Everyone registered to work on the site is issued a District hard hat sticker, which must be worn at all times while on site, after completing a mandatory safety training course. Each sticker is marked with an identification number so that school staff can easily identify workers. Over more, work in operating facilities is scheduled after hours or during school breaks to avoid interaction between students and contractors. All other state and city regulations are enforced.

 

 

Q:

Will all the portable buildings be removed from our campuses?

A:

It is the District's intention to minimize the number of portable buildings at all campuses. The completion of 92 percent of the 1997 Bond program has provided classroom space and allowed for the removal of many portable buildings. Some, however, remain on campuses to accommodate growing student populations and new programs/initiatives to address student success. Additional portable buildings will be removed from campuses as new and renovated classrooms are completed.

 

 

Q:

For the School District's historic buildings, what care was given to ensure that the integrity of the buildings' architecture was maintained through renovation and new construction?

A:

The District is sensitive to the historic nature of its facilities. The design teams work closely with the City's Historic Design and Review Commission and Conservation Society to plan quality functional schools while maintaining the architectural heritage of existing facilities.

 

 

Q:

Who is assigned to oversee my school's project from the District?

A:

The Construction Management Department, led by Kamal ElHabr, associate superintendent for Facilities Services, is responsible for the day-to-day implementation of the bond programs, such as the development and implementation of project delivery strategies and procurement plans, management of Team Leaders and architects, contract administration, and enforcement of quality construction and timely progress. As such, the CMD has the authority and responsibility for all management decisions regarding the bond programs except for that authority specifically retained by the Board and Superintendent. (See the Governance page of this site for additional information.)