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Bergen Hashemian

Cleveland ISD Prototype

By | Clients

Amidst uncertain and challenging times, Cleveland ISD has reason to celebrate! With the favorable pricing we are seeing in the construction market, the district was able to secure a solid, and under budget, bid for Elementary Campus #5. Huckabee is thrilled with the results and is looking forward to working with Cleveland ISD to deliver excellent value and an exceptional educational environment to their community. For the full story, click here.

The new elementary school is based on the prototype of Southside Elementary School in Cleveland (designed by Huckabee nearly 20 years ago). The team modernized the prototype and added a second story to increase capacity, while maintaining equity with existing schools. The 133,000 sf building will have a high-volume library centrally located on the first floor to allow easy access. Pre-K, Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grades will be housed on the first floor with 3rd, 4th and 5th grades located on the second floor. The new elementary school will have a secure entrance vestibule designed to have all visitors enter the main administration area before entering the building.

To learn more about the favorable pricing conditions in the construction market and how school districts can take advantage over the next 6-12 months, check out our MORE Momentum: Construction Market episode here.

MORE Momentum: Construction

By | News

Part three of Huckabee’s MORE Momentum market update series focuses on the Texas construction market. We discuss the current construction market, what’s changed in the past few months, what school districts can learn from the current state of affairs and the pro/cons of pre-design before passing a bond.

Our guests include:

  • LaShae Baskin, Huckabee’s Austin Office Director
  • Kevin Byrd, Central Texas Vice President of Operations for Bartlett Cocke
  • Dennis Yung, Vice President and General Manager for the Houston and Dallas areas for Skanska
  • Chris Huckabee, CEO of Huckabee

We’ve broken out each question for MORE Momentum #6: Construction Market below. You can view the webinar in its entirety by clicking here.

Austin / San Antonio Market

What is driving the market right now in the Austin and San Antonio areas?

For the first time in 10 years, we are seeing a pricing correction in the market. In recent months, 9/9 project bids have come in significantly under budget, including prototype designs. Factors contributing to savings opportunities include: subcontractor backlog, the supply chain and availability of manpower. If you’re ready, it’s a great time to build.

DFW / Houston Markets

Does this differ from what is going on in the DFW and Houston areas?

In the DFW/Houston markets, commodity prices are favorable. Supply chain updates predict that for the next 6 months, pricing on construction materials and equipment will remain flat and even potentially decrease. This creates ideal conditions for construction projects.

In Houston, 15-20 percent of projects have been delayed, suspended or canceled. Companies are looking to rebuild their backlog. This competitive environment, when combined with favorable commodity prices, creates an ideal time to start construction projects.

Dallas is one of the fastest growing construction markets in the country and is expected to be the second busiest construction market in 2020. However, like other areas throughout Texas, companies, including subcontractors, are looking to fill their backlog.

Impact to School Districts

What are some things that school districts need to be on the lookout for or aware of?

Be diligent when selecting contractors. The K-12 construction and subcontractor market will be flooded with businesses stepping outside their primary sectors. Make sure firms are qualified and capable to deliver K-12 projects. Evaluate their experience and qualifications related to your scope of work.

We have a new normal in the construction industry with new standards for safe work environments. Requirements for social distancing, safe work practices and personal protective equipment all have an impact on productivity. As you build schedules for your projects, make sure they account for these changes.

How Can School Districts Take Advantage of Market Changes

Work with your construction manager and architect to understand the opportunities in your region. While we are not able to see if the price correction will last beyond six months, we see real opportunity right now. If you can take advantage of the current market, do it.

Shovel Ready Pre-Bond

What is critical for school districts to understand about the process of design before a bond is passed? 

The concept of shovel ready pre-bond essentially means getting your project ready to bid so that you can capitalize on a favorable market as soon as funding is available. Districts have adopted the process to help save on inflation. Today, we are looking at a favorable climate where districts can take advantage of the lower prices in the construction market over the next six months.

There are several considerations to determine if this approach is right for your community, including:

  • Mental shift
  • Availability of design funds
  • Community support for this approach
  • Scheduling and time-lost due to COVID-19

It’s critical to ensure that your stakeholders are on board. Your administration, school board and bond steering committee should all be involved in the conversation. Help them understand the pros and cons of this process so you can make an informed decision.

Pros and Cons of Pre-Bond Design

Pre-bond design requires design fees upfront. If this seems like a risk to your community, then this process might not be a good fit. Your decision should be based on data-driven information and what is most logical for your community.

One major benefit of pre-bond design is the ability to keep your projects on schedule. Right now, we are also looking at the opportunity to take advantage of a narrow window for optimum bids. The current market also gives districts the chance to more accurately align costs with contractors, which results in a positive impact on the bottom line.

Final Takeaways

The construction market is very competitive right now, which is driving prices down. Districts can take advantage of this within the next 6 months, because beyond that, we don’t know what pricing will look like. If you have never gone through the process of pre-bond design, and this is something that feels viable for you, start having the conversation with your stakeholders and talk with your architect on what the process looks like for your district. You don’t need to rush anything, but if you are in the position to take advantage of the market right now, you should.

About MORE Momentum

Huckabee’s MORE Momentum series highlights how our educational partners are investing their time, energy and focus to keep the momentum going during this unprecedented “pause.” We will explore themes related to bonds, planning, design and safety and security, among other topics that impact Texas public education. Follow us @HuckabeeInc on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Linked In, or complete the form below to get a first look as new content is released. 

For the full webinar, click below

Keep the momentum going!
Reach out to our Huckabee Communications team to learn MORE.

More Momentum
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Huckabee Ranked in ENR Top 500

By | News

This year, Huckabee again ranked amongst Engineering News Record’s Top 500 Design Firms, climbing 13 spots. The list ranks A/E firms across the nation based on revenue for design services performed in the past year. Huckabee continues to see growth throughout the company, and we have increased our staff, expanded our offerings and grown our regional office presence in recent years. Notably, in the past year, Huckabee relocated our Dallas office to Granite Park in Plano, a thriving live-work-play community that will allow for future growth and encompasses our culture of creative and engaging work environments. We also launched the second iteration of our educational research lab, LEx Labs.

In 2017, Huckabee celebrated 50 years of business. Starting off with only 10 employees in the company, Huckabee has grown to over 250 employees in 6 offices throughout Texas, completing over 3,500 projects. Our dedication to Texas education has led Huckabee to be a leader in learning environments and a trusted advisor to many. Huckabee’s growth is due to the trust our clients impart in us and our unwavering commitment to students, educators and communities. We love what we do and who we do it for!

Click here to view the full list of ENR’s Top 500 Design Firms.

Hommel library Huckabee Texas

Hommel ES Wins TEXO Award

By | Clients

A renovation of Hommel Elementary School received first place in the TEXO Distinguished Building Award competition for the Design Build I category. Huckabee partnered with Sedalco Construction Services for the project.

The team worked with Everman ISD to complete a 31,000 square foot renovation of the school that included new classrooms and safety and security upgrades. The project was of special importance to the community because of the building’s historic significance: The facility opened in 1922 as The Everman School and served grades K-12. Through the years, and multiple renovations, the facility had lost some of its original elements.

While the project focused on creating usable space for academics, the team was also able to bring some of the historic charm back to the campus, restoring an old gym floor (which is now the library) and re-create its markings, refinishing the original floors, utilizing tin ceilings and bead-board wainscoting and replacing the windows with period-style panes.

Hommel Elementary School Huckabee Texas
Hommel students Huckabee Texas
The Everman School Huckabee Texas
Hommel single-file line Huckabee Texas

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