SUMMER of the SMART PROGRAM
Dear Broward County Public Schools families, staff and community,
I had the opportunity to visit several schools as students came back from summer break, and I was pleased to see the progress our SMART Bond Program had made over the busy summer.
The number of schools in active construction is 55, not including the additional 74 schools that are in the process of hiring a contractor.
Some enhancements that were in progress over the summer include:
- The outdoor dining and concession structure at Blanche Ely High School
- The 20-classroom addition at Charles W. Flanagan High School
- Completion of roofing upgrades at Silver Shores Elementary School and McNicol Middle School
- Major HVAC and air quality upgrades at various schools
Six media centers were also completed at the following schools:
- Morrow Elementary School
- Lauderdale Lakes Middle School
- Blanche Ely High School
- Castle Hill Elementary School
- Annabel C. Perry Pre K-8
- Seagull Alternative High School
Indian Ridge Middle School and Manatee Bay Elementary School received official completion and final closeout status, and will soon be joined by five additional schools that have recently completed all project enhancements and will be seeking final closeout.
Regarding the SMART Program's focus on school safety, every public school in our District now has an operational Single Point of Entry (SPE). A handful of schools may have minor punch-list items to complete before official closeout, but all SPE projects have received a Certificate of Occupancy and are in use. Our team and staff pushed themselves to achieve our goal of completing those projects in time for the new year.
As this bond program seeks to enhance every public school in Broward County, projects will continue as the year progresses and we will ensure that our communities can follow along in what will be a historic transformation for Broward County's educational system and learning environments.
As of the end of summer break, SMART Bond Projects included 55 schools in construction and 74 schools in the hire contractor phase.
The following chart shows the number of schools and the value of work in each phase of Primary Renovations.
Contractors on-site used the tilt-up process to construct the new building, first forming its exterior walls using wood forms, rebar and concrete before the walls were tilted up to be set on foundational footings.
The roof and flooring systems were installed shortly after the walls were raised and joined together. Work on the individual classrooms, as well as the electricity and plumbing systems, began following the completed structure.
Construction of the Falcons' new building is anticipated to be fully complete this fall, but already stands as a major presence on the high school's campus.
A crane being used to raise the first few walls of the 20-classroom addition.
The tilt-up process being used to construct the new building.
After the tilting of the walls, the roof and flooring structures were installed.
In addition to the new building, contractors continued work on existing buildings with HVAC maintenance and roofing improvements making up a large portion of the upgrades.
After the completion of the exterior work, construction then began on the individual classrooms as well as the electricity and plumbing systems.
Construction of the SMART-funded new addition is anticipated to be complete this fall.
Students at Blanche Ely High School and Stranahan High School celebrated an end to a successful summer, as their Developing Engineering Explorers Program (DEEP) internship came to a close. This was the fourth year the two pre-engineering magnet schools partnered with the engineering firms of Atkins and CBRE | Heery, inviting five students from each school to work side-by-side with the project managers and engineers tasked with managing and administering SMART Bond Program renovations.
The students who were selected for the internship spent four weeks (beginning June 10th) shadowing the various departments, studying standard safety protocols, learning how to interpret and utilize site plans, and experiencing active worksites, such as the HVAC roof placement on Stranahan's campus, where a crane was used to accomplish the task.
Some of the day-to-day operations of the engineers were divided among the interns, with Blanche Ely students working with Atkins on cost analysis and estimates, and Stranahan students assisting Heery's project managers with their daily to-do lists.
The interns concluded their experience by competing in a 3D model building competition, in which a small-scale model of the upcoming Blanche Ely dining hall had to be constructed using only materials available at hand. The models were presented with descriptions of the materials used and the likelihood of their effectiveness. A Heery construction manager tested the structural integrity of the designs.
Rose Chery, a junior on the engineering and medical track at Stranahan High School, won the competition, having built the model capable of supporting the most strain.
Victory seemed to cap off what was already a memorable experience for Rose, who expressed her gratitude in a letter sent to the SMART Project Management Team.
“Thank you for being very open with teaching and mentoring me, as well as including me in your meetings, relations, and conversations,” Rose wrote in her letter. “I am so glad I was given the opportunity to work alongside such a bright and colorful team.”
The ten students' participation in the DEEP provided them with a unique advantage as they enter their final year of high school, now more prepared to view their professional goals with the invaluable insight gained through real world experiences.
The DEEP interns pose behind one of their 3D models prior to the competition.
A display of the interns' painted 3D models prior to the competition.
Rose Chery, winner of the 3D model competition, working on the structure that would earn her victory.
In late June, the SMART Team held a workshop training session for architects, general contractors and roofers that covered some best practices for effectively implementing a Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) roofing project. These projects, which account for more than half of the SMART Bond Program’s budget, are a major focus point in the program management's efforts to mitigate risk and identify solutions to rising costs.
The methods discussed at the workshop included the District's specific requirements and quality standards, as well as a thorough explanation of the Building Department's sub-permitting process. Due to revisions in the process, the head Building Department official joined the SMART Team at the workshop to ensure that all questions could be answered with first-hand information.
To supplement the training, a sample sub-permitting package was provided to all attendees to serve as a reference in future Building Department applications.
The event was well attended by both new and existing vendors from each trade, totaling 21 architects, 19 roofers and 33 contractors. The remaining attendees were project managers, engineers and professional service representatives.
Although many of the vendors in attendance were already registered or pre-qualified to do business with Broward County Public Schools, Supplier Diversity Outreach Program (SDOP) representatives were available to process new Small, Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise (S/M/WBE) applications the same day.
To attract new firms, some of the upcoming SMART renovation projects were also featured at the end of the workshop, exhibiting the potential available to all trades through the ample work ahead.
The methods discussed at the workshop included the District's specific requirements and quality standards, as well as a thorough explanation of the Building Departments sub-permitting process.
Architects, roofers and contractors alike took the opportunity to attend the workshop, as roofing projects impact so many other renovations across the bond program.
Attendees were given a printed copy of the PowerPoint during the presentation, as well as a sample roofing sub-permitting package to use as a reference in their Building Department applications.
Status: 100% Complete
McFatter Technical High School, a magnet school that offers an integrated curriculum, state-of-the-art technology, and project-based learning, is one of the 75 schools that has completed its SCEP enhancements with all its items delivered and installed.
Some of the new technologies now available to students at McFatter include Recordex Interactive Systems, laptops, a digital SpeedTreater for printing, six high-end cameras for digital media and stage lighting.
The journalism students use digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) cameras to take higher quality photos for the yearbook, while the digital media classes use the cameras to record 4k video interviews and create content for the school's social media platforms. The new laptops come in handy during live quizzes, as the students’ responses appear on a projector in real time. Stage lighting was installed in the TV studio room where the journalism and TV production students do the bulk of their work. The digital printing SpeedTreater is used to customize and apply images to shirts for extracurricular activities, such as sporting events, spirit week or club activities.
Students using laptops during a lesson for more efficient notetaking.
Drama students filming a scene with the help of their new stage lights.
A student printing a t-shirt using the new digital SpeedTreater.