2013 Annual Report details successes of 2008 Bond Program
Six years have passed since Dallas taxpayers voted to support a $1.35 billion Bond Program that would revolutionize how Dallas ISD students will learn for years to come. Through a well-developed plan, led and supervised by the district’s Construction Services Division, the 2008 Bond Program has sought to meet the expectations set by the community. The progress of the plan is documented in the 2013 Annual Report prepared for the superintendent and trustees, and now available for public review.
A plan that began with the purchase of bonds and 84 million dollars set aside for land acquisition has today become 13 new state-of-art campuses enjoyed by thousands of students. Since the Bond’s approval on May 10, 2008, more than 200 existing schools and facilities have undergone improvements and 13 new schools have been built (with one more still slated for construction), including 2,738 digital classrooms complete with technology to support the district’s learning goals.
Throughout the life of the program, some 10,000 jobs have been created in the design and construction field, all with an outstanding safety record. Program Safety Coordinators take great pride in meeting one of the program’s main priorities — preventing accidents and loss of property. To ensure the safety of students, workers and the community as a whole, a variety of efforts were implemented. A Bond Safety Committee was created and met monthly to review lessons learned and share and analyze trends aimed at improving the overall safety of the program.
One objective that surpassed set goals is the participation of Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises. As of December 31, 2012, the district reported a 45 percent M/WBE participation, ten percent over the established goal. According to vendor feedback, this increase is in part the result of the creation of Joint Venture Partnerships that allowed for small M/WBE firms to work in a prime role.
Responding to the needs of the community has been of paramount importance. To promote positive communication between staff and the community, the district appointed a Bond Advisory Committee (BAC) to serve as advocates and to ensure that funds were effectively used to improve the learning environment for all students. Since the inception of the construction effort, this committee has met quarterly with Construction Services staff to review progress with the goal of maintaining community trust and goodwill. Thanks to this involvement, a strong professional commitment of the Construction Services staff, and support from the community, the program is on schedule to reach completion on time and within budget.