Choice Partners purchasing cooperative offers quality, legal procurement and contract solutions to meet government purchasing requirements. We also meet all of the EDGAR/Uniform Guidance/2 CFR 200 requirements!  

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Vendor Spotlight

Tech-Labs leaves quality footprint

Posted on February 2, 2016
Imagine the parts of a flower replicated and enlarged so that you can see the smallest details in its stem and petals. Picture a high school classroom outfitted with a life-size command room so that students can simulate sailing a ship. Technical Laboratory Systems (Tech-Labs) makes these dreams a reality by providing 3-D printers, simulators and other equipment using its Choice Partners contract– and the company is making quite the impression on our members.


“Tech-Labs did a stellar job,” Drew Thurman, manager, Career and Technical Education, Houston ISD, said of Tech-Labs’ pivotal role in providing technology for Austin High School’s full bridge simulator, a room built to mimic a ship’s control center that gives maritime students an immersive, hands-on learning experience that’s about as close to actual navigating as you can get.

“Typically you’d see these types of simulators at training facilities or colleges,” Thurman said, clearly proud of the high-tech installation. He added that Tech-Labs “did their homework and were extremely attentive” to HISD’s needs.

On a smaller, but no less impressive, scale, Tech-Labs has also shown members that it is the captain of the 3-D printer world – specifically the education market.

“The printer itself works flawlessly and we have no complaints about the device,” said Aaron Ellis, senior multimedia specialist, San Antonio College – Alamo Colleges, referring to the Stratasys Eden 260-V 3D printer that he acquired using Tech-Labs’ Choice Partners contract. “We have been able to build highly-detailed 3D objects for our faculty to use in their classrooms that they could not have obtained from any other source.”

That’s because Tech-Labs is one of the few platinum distributors for Stratasys, a pioneer in 3D technology and one of the largest suppliers of 3D printers in the world. Tech-Labs is also a full-service provider of educational equipment and software, distributing robotics, e-learning and heavy equipment simulators.

The 3D printer that Tech-Labs sold to San Antonio College using the Choice Partners contract utilizes a unique printing process that offers smooth finish surfaces -- technology ideal for architecture, animation and prototyping.

“Without getting too technical, smooth finish is why people buy this particular product,” explained Jamey Deloney, regional manager, Tech-Labs, adding that the printer offers fine detail with a fast processing time.

Fine detail is the name of the game when it comes to 3D printing.

“Among other things, we have printed miniature replicas of unique artifacts like dinosaur footprints found in San Antonio,” Ellis said. “Our instructors are pleased with the customized 3D-printed teaching aids that we have been able to provide to them.”

Tech-Labs, along with its team of factory-trained technicians, has solidified its reputation for quality customer service – a touchstone of many Choice Partners vendors.

“Tech-Labs has been great and has provided excellent service and responsiveness,” Ellis said. “Jamey Deloney was very helpful and James Rorls from Stratasys got everything set up and working perfectly.”

“If something is not right, they help you get it right,” Thurman said.

For more information about the Technical Lab Systems products, go to https://www.choicepartners.org/vendors/technical-lab-systems-4 or call Lisa Stewart at 281-391-7010.
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High Point Sanitary Solutions

Posted on November 1, 2012

Featured Contract

Terrazzo floors shine like mirrors with new process

Innovations in terrazzo floor care mean fewer chemicals and labor, while creating a glossy floor finish that lasts longer. Scott Uselman, High Point Sanitary Solutions, reports that the new diamond polishing process creates a shine on the terrazzo that can’t be duplicated.  The method produces beautiful, glossy floors without the labor, chemicals, equipment and time needed to scrub, strip, recoat with wax and buff.

“I couldn’t apply enough wax to get this much shine,” said Mr. Uselman.

Sheldon ISD used the new polishing method and saved significant dollars while also improving the appearance of their facilities. Christine Derryberry, Sheldon ISD coordinator for facilities and safety, credits Choice Partners contract holder High Point Sanitary Solutions, with making it possible to get a return on investment in just four months at the first campus where they tested the process. Mr. Uselman trained the Sheldon ISD custodial staff to do the job themselves, which worked perfectly, and cost less than half the estimate of $30 - $45,000.

“Scott is such an honest, good guy -- he has saved us a ton of money. Diamond polishing is probably the best thing we’ve done in this district,” said Derryberry. “The key was training our crew and doing it in-house.”

Because of that success, they have phased in the process district-wide, using up all the products they had on hand. Ms. Derryberry reports there is no wax on the floors in Sheldon ISD, yet the floors are so shiny they “look like a mirror.”  Having such glossy floors has made their high school look “like a million bucks,” according to Ms. Derryberry. She reported that recently someone was visiting the high school and couldn’t believe the facility was 50 years old.

“I just can’t recommend it enough,” said Ms. Derryberry. “It's very cost effective and the results are fabulous.”

Before diamond polishing was implemented, they had to purchase all the products needed – wax, stripper, special shoes – and then do the work to strip and recoat the floors. About every year someone fell on the slick floors, so there was also a related workers compensation expense.  Now that cost is gone and the floors are maintenance free, with the exception of the small riding scrubbers, which “does the work of about three people,” she said.

“Every time we ride the scrubber, it polishes the floor,” said Ms. Derryberry. “It looks like a mirror!”

With Scott's help, Sheldon ISD purchased a used machine to do the initial polishing, then was able to sell it for slightly more than they bought it.

She appreciates Scott’s help in recommending custodial products also. One product he suggested took the place of 17 others.

“He really is my advisor,” she said. “The stuff he has works.”

High Point Sanitary Solutions is working with other school districts in the Houston area, but the process works for courthouses, government buildings or wherever there is terrazzo.

“We teach clean,” said Mr. Uselman, “We will go anywhere we are needed.”

For more information about High Point Sanitary Solutions Choice Partners contract 09/017LB-B-03, call 713-694-8300 or email scott@highpointss.com.

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University JOC Projects

Posted on September 1, 2012

Featured Contract

Vaughn Construction Completes JOC Project at UNT


Awarded contract holder Vaughn Construction has been using their Choice Partners contract at the University of North Texas Health Science Center and at Texas Tech Health Science Center.

At the University of North Texas Health Science Center in Fort Worth, Vaughn Construction has done several projects, including reconfiguring and modernizing space to create a lecture hall with a sloped floor and elevated seating, creating labs out of a storage room and renovating space for faculty and administration offices.

Brian Jordan, UNTHSC construction manager, said one of the issues was working inside an occupied facility.

“We needed to get classrooms up and running in a short amount of time,” said Jordan. “So that’s where using the Choice contract was most beneficial, in that we didn’t have to go through a time consuming bid process.”

The university used Choice Partners legal, competitively bid and government awarded contract with Vaughn Construction. Jordan said the Job Order Contracting (JOC) process also allowed them to move more quickly.

“You price it out in [RS] Means [price book] and we’re good to go,” said Jordan.

For the research lab project, Jordan said the biggest challenge was converting the HVAC for the small 1,500 sq. ft. storage room into five individual rooms, each with their own specific controls and their own HVAC requirements. The labs feature stainless steel casework, epoxy floors and a clean environment, with controlled air pressure and unique HVAC system.

Jordan said UNTHSC was pleased with the end result, as it was critical to have a controlled environment.

“If the environment is out of kilter it can have a huge impact on the results of these animal experiments,” said Jordan. “This is one of the best functioning labs we have on campus, with respect to the performance of the pressure differentials within the lab space and maintaining constant temperature.”

At Texas Tech Health Science Center in El Paso, Vaughn Construction projects included extending a parking lot and renovating the Regional Academic Health Center façade.

According to Luke Vaden, Vaughn Construction senior project manager, the space for the parking lot extension was to be created by demolishing a structure previously known as Tequila Frogs. As they progressed, it was discovered that the structure had a shared wall with another building that was made out of adobe brick, which was a building material more commonly used 100 years ago. The adobe wall made the demolition more surgical in nature as some of the structure was built into the wall. In order to protect the existing building, a CMU wall was built out from the Adobe wall and waterproofed and plastered, once demolition was complete.

The façade renovation included removing old sealants and resealing, cleaning calcium deposits from windows, and repainting. Normally this would be an easy process, but the building was surrounded by sidewalks and the entrances could not be disrupted. To remedy this obstacle, Vaughn worked closely with the HSC staff to reroute traffic when appropriate and used tunnels to protect staff when entering and existing the building.

Vaughn Construction offers a detailed and comprehensive approach to projects, with company owners and principals involved in every project.

“We like to say we combine sophisticated construction management techniques with the hands-on approach of a traditional general contractor,” said Tom Vaughn, chief executive officer of Vaughn Construction.

For more information about Vaughn Construction, go to www.vaughnconstruction.com or call Rodney Moore at 713-589-7400.

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