Spring ISD Board of Trustees Approves Selection of Architectural Firms for Upcoming 2022 Bond Projects

Spring ISD Board of Trustees Approves Selection of Architectural Firms for Upcoming 2022 Bond Projects

August 22 2023

While Spring ISD campuses are already seeing technology improvements, much-needed maintenance work, and safety and security upgrades stemming from the district’s $850 million 2022 Bond initiative, other bond projects have also been moving forward behind the scenes.

This month, during its Aug. 8 regular meeting, the Spring ISD Board of Trustees voted to move some of the largest bond projects – including Spring High School’s new campus and the district’s new Education, Performance and Instruction Center (EPIC) – into the official planning and design phases through the approval of designated architectural firms for each project.

For the Spring High School project, trustees voted to approve the selection of Huckabee & Associates, Inc., working together with associated firm Smith & Company Architects. The board also voted in favor of selecting architectural firm HKS, Inc., to design and oversee the EPIC project, which will provide the district with a multi-purpose districtwide facility that can handle academic and athletic meets and competitions, a range of student performances and expos, and large indoor celebrations such as annual graduation ceremonies and convocation events.

Spring ISD solicited separate proposals for each of the large projects, giving the district the ability to review qualified firms and make the best choice for each facility.

“In each one of those categories, we had a two-phase process which included a cross-collaborative committee that made the final recommendations that are coming forward to the board this evening,” Spring ISD Chief of Finance Ann Westbrooks told board members during preliminary discussions at the Aug. 3 board work session.

Proposals submitted to the district by interested firms were first evaluated independently by a sub-committee and ranked based on criteria that included each firm’s overall qualifications, portfolio of completed projects, previous experience working with Spring ISD, and responses from professional references, together with other factors. The top-ranking firms from Phase 1 were then invited to present their project portfolios in person and discuss their qualifications with an evaluation committee that then submitted their recommendations to the administration and, ultimately, the board.

Several trustees took part in the process as observers, sitting in when the competing firms were invited to present their vision and expertise for the selected projects to the review committee.

Board Vice President Winford Adams Jr. sat in on presentations for the new Spring High School campus, and, together with Board President Justine Durant, noted that the process had benefited from having a broad cross-section of district leaders and other stakeholders involved – including campus administrators as well as those with special knowledge of facility-related needs for athletics and performing arts activities such as band, choir and theater.

“Those competitors were invited in Phase 2 to present to an evaluation team which included the principal of Spring High School and several other folks that have expertise or interest in the area,” Adams said.

During its August meeting, the board also approved two additional pools of architectural firms to handle a variety of upcoming bond-related projects around the district, such as roofing repairs and other high-priority maintenance and facility upgrade work. One group of firms was approved for projects over $15 million, with another group approved for smaller projects totaling less than $15 million. An additional pool of firms was approved to provide construction-related professional services connected to the 2022 bond and other district projects.

Although the groundbreaking on both the EPIC facility and the new Spring High School campus are still some ways off, community members can expect to hear more in the coming months – including ways they can get involved – as the planning and design process for each project gets underway.

“With bond-related projects of this scope and size, every stage of the process is crucial, and each decision has impacts affecting the entire lifetime of the project,” Chief of Operations Mark Miranda said. “We’re grateful to all those who evaluated these proposals and helped guide the selection process for these firms. We’re excited to move forward, and the approval of our Spring ISD Board of Trustees is another important milestone that means we’re now one step closer to making this vision a reality for our students and our district.”

Source: Spring ISD

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