Thursday, January 9, 2020

1-9-20 Board Briefing: Construction & Maintenance Transparency

(This presentation is listed at 

Three years ago hundreds of presentations were given to the DISD Board about deteriorating conditions in DISD schools, especially Carter and South Oak Cliff high schools. Now SOC is opening to a wonderfully rebuilt high school and Carter will soon follow. Thank you!

But we cannot let building maintenance deteriorate again!

Dallas ISD can save millions annually by having a publicly transparent construction and building maintenance system that allows the public to follow both the work being planned and the contracts being negotiated.  DISD could thereby enlist the Dallas public to help in monitoring the building conditions in our District. 

At the same time the ability to attract the most high-quality-centered contractors would increase as the transparency of the work would expose the best quality contractors providing priceless advertising references.

Dallas ISD probably builds and maintains more buildings than any company fully located in Dallas. A contractor with consistently positive records of quality work done for our school system, work that lasts a long time with minimal maintenance, would have an advertising goldmine in such a transparent Dallas ISD system!

Meanwhile contractors who do less quality work would stay away.

An online public record, by building and by contractor, with all expenses listed beginning with construction contractors, and continuing with all maintenance work, would be the heart of the system.  Once contracted, all expenses for every DISD building are added to the record with updates made as work is contracted, finished, and billed. Totals for construction and maintenance in each building could be tabulated monthly and reflected in annual budgeting. 

Such a public record could provide priceless advertisement for the best contractors as it would reflect construction and maintenance that is of high quality and does not demand frequent repair.

Contractors could search the entire DISD record quickly to show how long work done lasted without any needed repairs and compare their record with other contractors doing similar work. The contractors doing the best and longest lasting work would want to use this data base as an advertising tool, while all contractors would strive to achieve ever higher levels of excellence.

Due to the value of such a public record for contractors doing the best work, a tiny fraction of 1% of a fee would be added to any contract to cover any expense for establishing and maintaining such an ongoing DISD Building Construction and Maintenance data base.

Community members including parents, home owners, and education advocates could easily study maintenance issues at their community schools or any group of schools they may be concerned about. This would more clearly show where bond money and maintenance money is spent, and how much was spent.

Such public transparency should reinforce public trust in the DISD use of the billions in taxes and bond money spent by Dallas ISD.  It would make it much easier to pass future bond programs such as the one being talked about for 2020.

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