Eight companies competed to manage Fort Worth ISD’s $750 million bond in 2017. Four years later, only one firm applied to run the district’s $1.2 billion bond program.

Procedeo, a Fort Worth-based construction management company, beat out the competition in 2017 to secure a contract worth up to $27.2 million to direct the bond. 

At their Dec. 14 meeting, trustees tapped Procedeo to manage the district’s latest bond program. This time the contract could approach $50 million. The vote was 8-0.

What’s in the 2021 bond?

In November, Fort Worth ISD voters narrowly approved a bond proposition to fund $1.2 billion to renovate middle schools and build three new elementary campuses. The proposal won by a 57-vote margin. Three other propositions focused on extracurricular upgrades failed.

The lack of competition was a surprise, administrators said. The district essentially followed the same timeline as the 2017 bond and expected more than just one company to seek the lucrative owner’s representative contract. 

As manager, Procedeo will oversee the 25 projects in the 2021 bond program. Among the company’s responsibilities are reviewing the program, scheduling projects and giving the district cost-benefit analyses.

Companies appeared to have little interest in managing Fort Worth ISD’s latest bond. Eleven firms attended an optional pre-bid meeting, according to a presentation to the school board. Only two firms sent letters of intent to submit their qualifications. Ultimately, Procedeo was the sole entity to submit a proposal.

Superintendent Kent Scribner attributed the disinterest to a competitive public construction environment. In North Texas, several school districts are working on large bond programs, including a $3.5 billion package in Dallas ISD and a nearly $1 billion project in Arlington ISD.

Where’s the bond money going?

The $1.2 billion bond is aimed at renovating middle schools and building several new elementary campuses in the district. Here’s a look at the list of projects:

  • Applied Learning Academy – $39,076,858
  • Daggett Middle – $34,842,038
  • Forest Oak Middle – $55,126,910
  • J. Martin Jacquet Middle – $44,415,541
  • William James Middle – $53,453,136
  • Kirkpatrick Middle – $39,238,446
  • Leonard Middle – $50,664,762
  • Jean McClung Middle – $28,987,539
  • McLean Middle – $46,909,378
  • McLean Sixth Grade Center – $27,382,126
  • WA Meachum Middle – $51,880,657
  • Meadowbrook Middle – $48,860,151
  • William Monnig Middle – $55,791,104
  • Riverside Middle – $48,746,519
  • Rosemont Middle – $70,511,538
  • Stripling Middle – $60,942,462
  • Wedgwood Middle – $62,213,434
  • Westpark Relief Elementary – $59,364,479
  • Young Women’s Leadership Academy – $19,494,924
  • Early Childhood Centers – $13,798,232
  • New Elementary Campus No. 1 – $44,733,186
  • New Elementary Campus No. 2 – $44,733,186
  • New Elementary Campus No. 3 – $44,733,186
  • Property – $26,375,000
  • Schools and programs of choice – $41,935,915

Deputy Superintendent Karen Molinar suggested construction management companies likely did not have the capacity to tackle another large bond program.

Fort Worth ISD sought requests for qualifications for two weeks starting Sept. 20. The district advertised twice for bids in a single publication, the Commercial Recorder, according to documents the Fort Worth Report obtained through an open records request. 

Board President Tobi Jackson questioned administrators if they considered restarting the request-for-qualifications process after seeing one application. That was not an option for the district, said Vicki Burris, chief officer of Capital Improvement Programs.

Seeking additional requests for qualifications also would cause the district to push back 2021 bond projects, Burris added. Administrators want to get started on building a new elementary in Benbrook to provide relief at the overcrowded Westpark Elementary, she said. The new campus is expected to open for the start of the 2023-24 school year.

“We want to get off to a good start and get things moving as quickly as possible,” Scribner said.

A four-person committee reviewed Procedeo’s qualifications. District records show the committee members were David Saenz, chief innovation officer; Raul Peña, chief talent officer; Cherie Washington, chief of secondary schools; and Jerry Moore, chief of schools. 

Fort Worth ISD has had a relationship with Procedeo dating back to at least 2017. That is when the company assessed the needs of all district-owned buildings. That assessment formed the basis of the 2017 bond and this year’s package.

Procedeo and its parent company, CORE Construction Services of Texas, donated a combined $8,000 to a political action committee that pushed this year’s bond.

Jacob Sanchez is an enterprise journalist for the Fort Worth Report. Contact him at jacob.sanchez@fortworthreport.org or via Twitter. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.

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Jacob Sanchez

Jacob Sanchez is an enterprise reporter for the Fort Worth Report. His work has appeared in the Temple Daily Telegram, The Texas Tribune and the Texas Observer. He is a graduate of St. Edward’s University.

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