Gonzales ISD hosts community bond meeting, selects architect and contractor


The Gonzales ISD School Board held its financial transparency meeting Monday, Feb. 19 regarding the $50.6 million bond that was passed in November 2023.

The board had Jennifer Black from Sledge Engineering present to speak to the members of the community who wanted to ask questions.

“One of the big things that we will be doing with this bond project is making sure that not only are we reviewing everything that goes through, so invoices and all of that, but we want to make sure that the public sees it.” Black said “That's one of the reasons Gonzales ISD hired us was so that we can help make sure they're following the law, but also helping disseminate the information and oversee construction.”

On the district websitek, a Dropbox is active so the community can see what the district is spending and see the different folders regarding the bond.

“In that Dropbox link, there will be multiple folders. And as we get moving further on the project and have different projects, named on what they are, you'll see more folders pop in there, but you'll see everything from invoices that have been approved to schedules as we get them, you will see vendor contracts. So as we actually ink the contract with any particular vendor, architect, contractor geotechnical testing, whatever we're using, you'll see all of that in there as we move forward,” Black said.

Sledge Engineering’s mission and scope of work with Region 13 is rate projects, making ure they are reasonable accountable, transparent and efficient. Black said.

“That is everything you need to make your project come in on time and under budget. And that's what we pride ourselves in — helping the districts to manage their projects well enough that you're getting them done, that you should have the right expectations,” Black added.

As Sledge works with the district’s selected architect, then everything in the project will be more defined, Black said.

“This will break out into more defined projects. Instead of just seeing basically three projects here, you're going to start seeing the little projects under each one. And that grows and grows and grows through the whole project. So while you see this month, it'll look different next month and the following month. And it just gets more and more detailed,” Black said.

The bond that was passed in the Nov. 7, 2023 election was for a new CTE building and infrastructure to all the GISD campus.

Black said they’ll be touching every campus in the district and has already got a walk through from GISD Director of Operations Gene Kridler and an architect.

“We've identified plenty to do on on our campuses. And now it's honing in on what to do and in what order.” Black added.

The board approved the following agenda items following the public meeting:

--approved a Proposed Agreement with VLK Architects, Inc., a Texas Corporation, to Provide Architectural/Engineering Services for the 2023 Bond Projects.

--approved to select Weaver & Jacobs of Cuero, Texas, as the construction manager at risk for the 2023 bond program and authorize the superintendent to negotiate the final terms of the agreement.