The San Antonio Independent School District (SAISD) recently allocated more than $500 million to improve its schools, and the largest single contract has been awarded to Sundt and joint venture partner Guido Construction. The team’s $65 million, Construction Manager at Risk project involves renovations and additions to three existing high schools – Brackenridge, Burbank and Lanier – while they are still open and operating. It is Sundt’s first project for the district.
Starting next May, Guido-Sundt will construct new buildings, recreational facilities and parking areas at the three schools, performing much of the work while thousands of students, faculty and staff are present. Through careful planning and creative scheduling, the projects are expected to be complete in 15, 18 and 20 months, respectively, without a single closure.
“For this bond project, SAISD used a two-step procurement process considering both qualifications and price,” said Sundt Project Manager Ed Mullins. “Sundt was shortlisted because of our demonstrated success with similar, K-12 construction projects in other areas. Sundt is very good at performing construction in occupied settings, whether they’re schools, healthcare facilities or other kinds of buildings. Logistically, this project will be very challenging, particularly because the schedules are very tight.”
The key to success – and minimal disruptions to users – will be careful planning and scheduling. A few of the schools’ programs will be consolidated onto one campus for short periods of time to allow demolition and construction to take place, then shifted back to allow other areas to be improved. Portable buildings will also be utilized for some classes.
“These schools are 70 or 80 years old and have had multiple additions built over the decades,” Mullins continued. “They’re really out of date and need to be brought up to current standards. They also need the right facilities to accommodate what they teach now. For example, Burbank High School is getting a brand new agricultural facility where students can raise livestock and learn how to breed and care for them. At the other two schools we’re constructing state-of-the-art career education buildings where students can learn everything from cosmetology to film production.”