One year later: Bond program on schedule, on budget

One year later: Bond program on schedule, on budget

Nov. 2, 2011 – The $515 million worth of bond projects voters approved a year ago today for SAISD are on schedule and within budget -- and the results of their “Yes” vote are already being seen throughout the district.

The District expects completion of major renovation projects by late 2014. Projects are at various stages of completion and include: safety and security upgrades, such as cameras in schools, keycard access systems and school security fencing; new or improved elementary school playgrounds; re-surfaced athletic tracks; technology upgrades; extensive renovations to 23 aging schools and the Alamo Stadium and Convocation Center; enhancements to career and technical education facilities and transportation efficiencies.

“We have been working diligently to make sure that these projects come in on time and within budget. There is still much work to be done, but we are on track,” Superintendent Robert Durón said. “This bond program is allowing us to create modern learning environments and contributing to our goal of continued academic progress for all of our students.”

Security projects are underway, with installations of keycard access systems continuing each week and designs for camera systems in the works. Work is wrapping up this week on the last two playgrounds that are part of the first round of installations at elementary schools and PK-8 academies. Play structures will be installed later at 13 campuses receiving major renovations.

Four of eight high school tracks have been re-surfaced, with a new all-weather surface replacing cinder surfaces. Also, new computers that will help prepare our students for college and the 21st Century workforce have been delivered and installed at nearly all the 68 campuses that will receive them.

Of the 25 major projects, 23 involve extensive renovations to modernize aging schools. More than half of SAISD’s schools are 50 years or older, and some are more than 100 years old. Those projects are in the design phase, which will continue through the school year.

Construction will begin on the first of the projects in summer 2012, and the projects are expected to be completed in 2013 (elementary schools) and 2014 (high schools).

The other two major projects involve significant upgrades to the Alamo Stadium and Convocation Center and the master-planning and partial construction of a Bus Transportation and Support Center. The stadium and convocation center will receive upgrades to infrastructure, play areas, seating, restrooms, lockers and concessions, among other improvements. The bus and support center will provide greater efficiencies by allowing the consolidation of multiple departments at that location, after additional funding is secured and construction is completed on the remainder of the facility. Design work is underway for both projects and construction is scheduled to begin in 2012 and be completed in 2014.

A 24-member Citizens’ Oversight Committee has met monthly since February to closely monitor the pace and quality of the bond’s progress and will continue to do so through the duration of the program.

In addition, the district has held 47 community meetings to provide information and solicit input about each of the 23 school projects and the Alamo Stadium and Convocation Center project. Another round of meetings, where renderings of the projects will be shared with the public, is scheduled for early 2012.

Bond progress is reported monthly in the Bond Update, which can be found, along with detailed monthly reports and other information, on our Bond 2010 website: http://bond.saisd.net/.