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EducationNorth Texas

Crowley ISD greenlights renovation projects at 6 schools

The sound of construction is inching closer for six schools in Crowley ISD.

The school board, in two separate votes Jan. 25, agreed to hire four firms to manage the planned construction projects. The cost of the agreements is expected to be determined by the summer, according to officials.

Trustees unanimously agreed to enter into negotiations with the firms Balfour Beatty and GCC Enterprises for renovations at North Crowley High School and North Crowley Ninth Grade Campus.

The school board also tapped Post L Group and Steele Freeman to upgrade Crowley High School Ninth Grade Campus, Deer Creek Elementary, Meadowcreek Elementary and Sycamore Elementary. The vote was 5-0, with trustees June Davis and Mia Hall abstaining.

Renovations include adding new classrooms, expanding some cafeterias and other campus upgrades, said Randy Reeves, executive director of non-instructional services.

The four firms were picked to be the construction managers at risk, an outside firm that analyzes prices and provides a guaranteed maximum price of a project.

Reeves described what trustees agreed to as the first of two steps.

“All we’re doing tonight is awarding a construction manager to do the work. Once we do that, we enter into negotiations. We can negotiate with the firm on the fees they presented,” he said.

If they can’t agree, the school district can end negotiations and move to the next offer, Reeves said.

Selecting a construction manager at risk is one of six ways state law allows school districts to pick construction services. Districts also can select the lowest bidder for projects or pick the best value among sealed proposals.

School board members were not familiar with the construction-manager-at-risk process and questioned how it works.

“I’m at a loss here,” trustee Gary Grassia said.

Superintendent Michael McFarland described the construction-manager-at-risk method as giving the district the best value and moves toward accomplishing a goal from the school board.

Trustees tasked administrators to add more construction firms to the pool from which Crowley ISD pulls for projects. The school board did not want a single construction company working on all Crowley ISD projects.

Administration decided to require firms to work with one another to submit a joint venture construction proposal, McFarland said.

“If we don’t open it up, it’s likely it won’t change,” the superintendent said.
Jacob Sanchez is an enterprise journalist for the Fort Worth Report. Contact him at [email protected] or via @_jacob_sanchez. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.

This article first appeared on Fort Worth Report and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.

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