- Does Katy ISD get bids from architects, which would ensure the lowest cost and best value for design services?
State law prohibits school districts from soliciting competitive bids for professional services of any licensed or registered certified public accountant, architect, landscape architect, land surveyor, physician, optometrist, professional engineer, state-certified or state-licensed real estate appraiser, or registered nurse. Contracts for these professional services are extended on the basis of demonstrated competence and qualifications to perform the services and for a fair and reasonable price. When the district contracts for architectural, engineering, or land-surveying services, it first selects the most highly qualified provider on the basis of demonstrated competence and qualifications; and then negotiates a contract with that provider at a fair and reasonable price. If a satisfactory contract cannot be negotiated with the most highly qualified provider, it formally ends negotiations with that provider and selects the next most highly qualified provider at a fair and reasonable price.
- Does Katy ISD use competitive bids for construction projects? How are contractors and subcontractors selected and vetted? Are they bonded and insured? Does the district require any credentials?
Katy ISD typically utilizes competitive sealed proposals to select general contractors. Other contracting methods, construction manager at-risk and job order contracts are also used by the district based upon the requirements of the project.
Competitive sealed procedures do not allow pre-qualifying potential offers, but may include contractor qualifications as a portion of the selection criteria for selecting the firm that offers the best value to the district. Katy ISD generally requests that the contractors complete and submit an AIA G305, Contractor's Qualification Statement, along with their proposal. This includes a copy of the contractor's financial statement, in addition to a list of proposed key project personnel and major subcontractors, and a Felony Conviction Notification and Affidavit of Non-Collusion forms.
All construction work is bid out in accordance with the Texas government. The method is selected based upon the nature of the project for example a new school vs. a renovation.
The District typically utilizes two methods, either competitive sealed proposal, aka, CSP or construction manager at risk, aka as CM at risk or CMAR. CSP is used when the construction documents are fully complete. CM at Risk is used when you want to involve the contractor early with the design team to address project complexities such as phased work in a renovation project.
The TEA provides an outline for selection criteria in choosing a contractor.
- What is Katy ISD doing that is over and above the legislative requirements for schools and how does this impact cost?
TEA provides guidelines for core spaces such as classrooms, library, physical education (gyms only), and special education. It is then up to the district to provide for an educational program in line with the District's education philosophy.
- Why doesn't Katy ISD go with a standard school design that will hold down cost by providing a basic building?
Most of Katy ISD elementary, junior high and high schools are modified/refined repeats with reduced fees (savings for Katy ISD) for the architectural designs. The projects are repeats, but each has unique site conditions that must have new civil designs and each require construction administration services by architect and consultants. Other minor changes and code changes are also reviewed prior to finalizing the construction documents.
The modified repeat designs also typically cost less in dollars per square foot.
- What is the difference between a maintenance expense and an operating expense?
Capital expenditure are the cost of purchasing and/or constructing assets that have a useful life that extends one year or longer. Bond proceeds are used to fund capital expenditures such as the construction, acquisition and equipping of facilities; the purchase of land and buses; and bond issuance costs. Operational expenditures are daily operating costs such as payroll, services and supplies to operate the District.