Jacobs wins $517M award to modernize Texas schools

Award: School modernization program
Value: $517 million
Location: Austin, Texas
Client: Austin Independent School District

The Austin Independent School District in Texas selected construction firm Jacobs as one of three program managers to lead a $2.4 billion school modernization program, according to a company press release.

Jacobs’ portion of that overall project is a 5-year contract to manage approximately $517 million worth of capital projects, specifically overseeing the development of 10 schools within the Austin ISD.

The Dallas-based construction company’s planned improvements include new school mental health centers and community pantries, visual and performing arts and athletic facility improvements, upgrades to early learning and special education classrooms and kitchen areas as well as new playgrounds and outdoor learning spaces, according to the release.

Jacobs will team with Atlanta-based construction company Turner & Townsend Heery on the project, as well as specialist minority-owned subconsultant firms Olivier, Encotech Engineering Consultants and Project Management Group — based in Dallas, Austin and Houston respectively — which represent approximately 30% of the project team. Austin ISD selected these firms based on their core expertise and to promote local minority businesses, according to the release.

The total capital improvement program, the largest in Austin ISD’s history, entails modernization of 25 schools through full or phased renovations, districtwide security improvements, technology upgrades and maintenance.

The Austin ISD ranks as the eight largest school district in Texas, with more than 73,000 students in 113 schools across one of the fastest growing metroplexes in the country, according to the release.

School construction activity picks up

Other cities in the U.S. also recently announced record amounts for modernizing their schools.

For example, the Department of Education and the New York City School Construction Authority plans to allocate about $19.4 billion worth of funding for school-related construction in New York City through 2024. That figure represents the largest funding plan for the city’s schools ever, according to the NYCSCA.

Meanwhile, the Virginia Board of Education awarded in May $365 million for new school construction, renovations and upgrades. That amount will fund 40 projects in elementary, middle and high schools across 28 school divisions primarily located in central, south and western Virginia.

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