Students at J.T. Brackenridge Elementary work on tablets as part of their daily curriculum.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Citizens Advisory Committee kicks off first meeting

Things are beginning to take shape for your San Antonio ISD Bond 2016 program.

The CitizensAdvisory Committee (CAC), which will oversee the progress of the Bond and make sure the money is being spent wisely, held its first meeting to get organized. The nearly two-dozen folks seated at the table are your friends, neighbors and business leaders in your communities.

If you walked in during this first gathering – which you are welcome to do since the meetings are open to the public – you would have noticed that already the members are taking an active role in shaping this Bond program. They asked questions, offered up ideas and spoke together about the scope of the projects.


Kamal ElHabr, Associate Superintendent for Facilities Services, provided an overview of the 13 schools included in the Bond. The $450-million project includes seven high schools, four middle schools and two elementary schools.

ElHabr told the committee members that most, if not all, of the projects include renovations to classroom spaces, the auditorium (if applicable), roofing, front-entry modifications for safety and upgrades to athletic facilities. Indeed, extensive renovations are part of the plan for the aging schools. The goal is to target infrastructure needs including air conditioning, electrical and plumbing needs.

Committee leaders

Part of getting organized means electing those members who will lead the group. The committee elected its chair, vice-chair and secretary following a self-nomination process. Serving as chairperson will be David Garcia (pictured), who was appointed to the CAC by District 7 Trustee Ed Garza. Fatema Basrai was elected by her peers on the committee to serve as vice-chair. She was tapped to serve on the committee by District 3 Trustee Debra Guerrero. Denise Ojeda, also selected by Trustee Guerrero, will serve as secretary.


As ElHabr (pictured) explained, the timeline of the Bond 2016 program is already in action! Right now, he and his team are in the middle of hiring architectural and engineering firms that will work on the projects. That process will take up most of the summer and a small portion of the fall. After those services are hired (and there will be more than one firm involved), they’ll get to work on the 13 schools. That should take about a year. The turning of the dirt will follow, and that’s when we’ll see physical evidence of the Bond in action!


The committee members heard from SAISD Board President Patti Radle, who said that they are truly providing guidance and oversight on something that’s very important to the community. Superintendent Pedro Martinez also spoke. He stressed that all students at SAISD deserve to be proud of the school where they learn, and that the members will help create the right environment for each of the District’s children. Martinez said SAISD is being aggressive in its plan to provide the right tools for each child to reach his or her full potential.

The next CAC meeting is scheduled for Sept. 13 at 6 p.m. They are held at SAISD’s Central Office Board Room, located at 141 Lavaca St.

Citizens Advisory Committee offers guidance as Bond 2016 program rolls along

Kedrick Wright, (standing) director of planning and construction, delivers a presentation to members of the Citizens Advisory Committee. T...