Project budgets and costs

  • Why is HISD spending more money on some schools than others?
    All schools within the 2012 bond program will be rebuilt to the same level of quality. There are several variables that may affect the total budgeted cost for each school, such as:
    • Differences in the student capacity planned for each site. Larger schools with more students require more classrooms, which require larger budgets to build.
    • Differences in instructional programs. Career and Technical Education programs, for example, require more space than regular classrooms.
    • Differences in the amount of new construction, renovation, and demolition work that may be required.
    • Differences in the amount of funding that is necessary for swing space to accommodate phased construction on certain sites.
    How were project costs determined?
    HISD is committed to ensuring that taxpayer dollars are well spent. The budgets for each school pledge a scope of work, not a specific dollar amount. Should economic conditions allow a school to be built at a lower cost, that money will be returned to the bond program, not the individual facility.

    Every school included in the 2012 bond program will be built to the same strict quality standards. Those common standards include:
    • New high school projected costs were calculated using a formula that allocates 140 square feet per student at a cost of $160 per square foot. Renovation costs are projected using a $100 per square foot formula.
    • Allocations for furniture and equipment are based on a standardized formula for all district schools.
    • Multiple design firms will be working for the district, but they are all given the same standards and guidelines that they are required to follow.