Stafford MSD’s $62M bond projects set to transform the district (Source: Houston Chronicle)

Oct 7, 2019

By Kristi Nix

With projects coming in under budget and on time, Stafford Municipal School District (SMSD) officials are thrilled that new building construction and facility improvements funded via a $62 million bond package approved by voters in 2017 are swiftly moving toward competition.

“Between our experts and our project managers, they have done a phenomenal job managing the budgets. Not only have our projects come in on time, they have come in so significantly under budget that we were able to add enhancements and increase the scope on some of the projects to get even more for tax payers,” superintendent Robert Bostic said. “For example, our middle school came in so significantly under budget that we were able to add nine additional classrooms to the design without having to go back to the board of trustees or the tax payers for additional funds.”

The bond projects include construction of a new middle school, a new administration building, a new grades three-to-12 magnet school for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), an outdoor learning and community gathering plaza and repurposing of the existing administration building to a community center among other things.

Working hand in hand with district officials has been Lockwood, Andrews and Newnam, Inc. (LAN), a Houston-based consulting firm hired to serve as project manager for the largest bond program in the district’s history. JP Grom, vice president of LAN, said the project timeline remained unchanged despite recent tropical storms.

“We’ve been fortunate in the firms we have working with us on this bond program. Our contractor, Drymalla Construction, has been aggressive with their decision-making and careful in the planning of the activities that unfold as part of these construction projects,” Grom said. “Because of their diligence, despite the rain we’ve had they’ve been able to maintain the schedule for these projects. So, they deserve a lot of credit in terms of where we stand on our progress toward opening these schools in the Fall of 2020.”