Northside's construction efforts recognized for the fourth time this year

July 21, 2010

Northside ISD continues to be recognized for excellence in school construction. In the last year, the Facilities and Operations Department has been recognized four times by various organizations that represent architects, contractors and the solar energy industry.

Northside ISD Superintendent Dr. John Folks is quick to praise the professional staff that manage the mammoth NISD construction program. "The staff that NISD has in place to manage the construction program is the best in Texas," he says. "They oversee one of the largest construction programs in San Antonio and in Texas," says Folks who cites $2 billion in construction funds approved by voters in the last 15 years.

"We have been entrusted by the community through their support in bond elections to build the best schools and facilities we can with the funds they provide to us. Our goal is to build high quality, functional and well designed community schools that will stand the test of time and provide spaces that are conducive to learning and teaching," says Folks.

Hispanic Contractors Association
NISD was recognized by the Hispanic Contractors Association which presented their Owner of the Year Award to Northside ISD at their Excellence Through Diversity Awards banquet. The award represents NISD's fairness in contracting as well as participation of Hispanic Contractors Association
members in NISD's construction program.

Solar San Antonio
Recent awards include one for energy design. The Bill Sinkin Solar Energy Award was awarded by Solar San Antonio to NISD for the solar panel system at the George Block Aquatics Center.

"NISD was ‘green' long before ‘green' was in," says Assistant Superintendent for Facilities and Operations Vernon Dunagin. NISD's solar panel system was a new feature when the system was originally installed in the 1970s. Since then, the system has provided solar energy to heat the water at the Olympic-sized pool.

San Antonio Masonry Contractors Association
Northside ISD is also the recipient of the 2010 Golden Trowel Award for Educational Facilities presented by the San Antonio Masonry Contractors Association (SAMCA). The "Golden Trowel" is the highest honor awarded by the SAMCA. The award recognized the outstanding masonry work on Scarborough Elementary School. Langley Elementary School was among other projects nominated in this category.

Each year the San Antonio Masonry Contractors Association recognizes outstanding masonry construction in seven project categories that include public schools, universities and private development among others. Scarborough Elementary was in competition with 14 projects from nine local school districts.

"It's important that NISD builds schools that are well constructed and uses good building materials so that our community schools can last for many decades and serve the thousands of students that will attend them," says Dunagin.

Associated General Contractors
For the third consecutive year, Northside ISD is ranked No. 1 in Construction among the eight largest public agencies in San Antonio by the Associated General Contractors. AGC membership includes local builders and contractors.

The other agencies evaluated by the survey included: North East ISD, Judson ISD, University of Texas System, City of San Antonio, Bexar County, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The AGC Report Card graded performance in the following categories: safety, payment, relationships, bid documents, scope management, bid qualifications and evaluation, design coordination and management, and insurance and risk requirements.

"We are committed to a first-rate construction program, and this survey validates that," says Dunagin. "When it comes to construction procedures, we always are looking for areas where we can make improvements. This survey shows we are improving steadily, and we will continue to do so."

More schools to open
NISD has built and opened dozens of schools and renovated many others as a result of voter-approved bond elections that are presented to the community every three years.

Recently, NISD voters approved a $535 million bond package to build more schools. NISD is one of the fastest growing public school districts in Texas. Each year, approximately 3,000 new students enter NISD schools and NISD opens from three to five new schools.