Austin ISD tackles summer projects funded by $490 million bond

Work underway on new Construction Technology Center at Crockett High School (Erin Cargile/KXAN)
Work underway on new Construction Technology Center at Crockett High School (Erin Cargile/KXAN)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — In school bond elections, voters go to the ballot box to say “yay” or “nay,” but often never get to see the results.

Austin ISD is in phase three of five with their 2013 bond projects which total $490 million.

“Basically [we are] past the halfway point,” said Robert Hengst, Austin ISD Construction Management Department. “We front-ended a lot of the projects meaning we did more up front than we will do at the end.”

Hengst said that move secured better pricing and helped the district nail down contractors.

This summer AISD is making more progress with 58 constructions projects underway.

The race is on at Crockett High School to get their new construction technology facility completed before classes start August 22.

It is a stand-alone 9,000 square foot building where students will learn trades such as plumbing, electrical, welding and carpentry.

“With a facility like this, it’s endless what they can learn,” said Michael Cardenas with FlintCo.

He is in charge of the work, and was also a student at Crockett in the early 1970s.

Cardenas says there is a need to build a strong foundation and get more students into the construction field.

“There’s so much work in Austin right now that there’s not enough people to actually fulfill all the spots on all these projects,” said Cardenas.

From kitchen and classroom remodeling to updating heating and air conditioning systems, the list of other projects is long.

Thirteen middle school athletic fields are getting new irrigation systems, and Bowie High School is getting a new practice field across from the campus on donated land.

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