Grandview ISD students returning to cool, air-conditioned classrooms in the midst of blistering August heat have a few people to thank.
One is Joe Perrin, superintendent of the small, rural 2A district south of Fort Worth—so small that Perrin wears (and shares) many hats, from purchasing agent to curriculum leader to chief executive officer. Another is Greg Lookabaugh, Harris County Department of Education (HCDE) senior manager of facilities planning, who along with consultant David Simmons worked with Superintendent Perrin to finish a heating ventilation air conditioning (HVAC) project in a couple of months.
Perrin said the legalities of the bid process and the steps needed to replace over a dozen 30-year-old HVAC units might have taken him a year if he had done it alone, but with HCDE’s help the job sped up rapidly.
“The help allowed us to complete the project before this school year, which probably wouldn’t have happened otherwise,” Perrin said.
Lookabaugh and Simmons walked Perrin through the planning and development stages first, ensuring that Grandview ISD was matched with a quality engineer. Then, for installation, the time came to select a vendor with a legally procured HVAC contract.
“I involved several Choice Partners awarded vendors, inviting them to quote the project based on the engineer’s designs and specifications,” Lookabaugh said.
Grandview ISD chose The Brandt Companies—yet another hero in this story.
Construction took the company about seven days from the day the crane arrived until the project was finished.
“The big drama on this project was the equipment,” said Danny Ramirez, business development, The Brandt Companies. “We were not sure it would be here on time.”
But The Brandt Companies got the order pushed up, and the equipment arrived. They finished the project on budget, on time and with customer satisfaction. Ramirez said what “went great” was the coordinating done by HCDE.
“[Lookabaugh] did an awesome job on his end, which made everyone else’s job easier,” Ramirez said. “He stayed on top of everything, communicating to make sure everyone was in the loop.”
A local contractor familiar with Grandview ISD’s building controls also worked with The Brandt Companies to connect new equipment to the existing operating system.
“The process went really well,” Perrin said. “I was very pleased. I’d definitely do it again.”
Lookabaugh added that the success seen in this project exemplifies HCDE’s unique brand of collaboration.
“I brought coordination and efficiency in implementation, and I utilized legally procured Choice Partners vendor contracts,” he said. “This is a facility management service that no other co-op offers.”