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Vendor Spotlight

K12 Alerts Notifications

Posted on February 3, 2014

K12 AlertsEducational institutions have another resource for improving communications and student safety with the new technology contract awarded to K12 Alerts®/Anonymous Alerts® hosted systems now available through Choice Partners.

For communications, K12 Alerts® offers parent and staff notifications via instant voice, email and text, social media or RSS integration, newsletters (templates provided), and customized iPhone and Android apps. The patented system also features automated calls for attendance reporting and low lunch funds.

For bullying reporting and other sensitive student issues, K12 Alerts® has a program called Anonymous Alerts® which offers students and parents the ability to anonymously report suspicious activity, bullying or other sensitive issues before they exacerbate into a tragedy. Students or parents can have a 2-way anonymous dialogue with campus officials. The system is simple and secure for students, parents and campus officials. Students can download mobile phone and tablet apps for free to place reports. The fully hosted system offers campus officials quick receipt of reports via email and text, robust reporting, note taking and more to comply with bullying laws/requirements.

"We’re excited to have a Choice Partners contract so school districts, colleges and universities can more quickly deploy our hosted communications systems. Choice Partners’ leadership team understands our mission of keeping student safe and everyone informed,” said Gregory Bender, president and chief executive officer, K12 Alerts®. “Our Anonymous Alerts system empowers students to discuss sensitive issues without fear of retaliation by their peers, to improve student campus safety.”

For more information, go to or or call 888-291-2090.

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Tommy Klein Construction

Posted on August 1, 2013

If you’re like most people, you associate the summer months with warm, sandy beaches and relaxing vacation days. But if you’re Tommy Klein, vice-president of HCDE contractor Tommy Klein Construction, the word summer makes you think of round-the-clock labor.
“In our summertime, there is no summer,” Tommy Klein said. “It’s 10 –12 hours a day.”
That high level of commitment during Texas’ blistering summer months is what keeps Tommy Klein’s renovation projects running on schedule — and his clients happy.
“I have only good things to say about Tommy Klein Construction,” said Stephanie Laughlin, senior interior designer, Texas Tech University Student Housing. “Their quotes are usually equivalent to the price of the project, and they are always on top of their scheduling.”
Tommy Klein Construction, as its name suggests, is the perfect example of how a dedicated family working together
can (literally) build a multi-million dollar company from the ground up. Tommy got his start digging ditches as a teenager and in 1986, after nine years as construction superintendent for another company, he decided to strike out on his own. Tommy’s wife, Karen Klein, is the company’s business manager and president, and their son Jonathan Klein manages all the job order contracts for Texas Tech. Keeping it in the family has worked very well,
according to Laughlin.
“When you work with some construction companies, they won’t ask you what to do when a problem comes up
— they’ll just make a decision without asking, but Jonathan calls to make sure we’re OK with the plan,” Laughlin said. “They’re really good about communication.”
Finding innovative ways to work around the unforeseen complications of renovating old university buildings is another Tommy Klein trademark.
“The buildings we work on are so old, we don’t always have the most accurate floor plans from the time they were originally built, so many things can come up — structural components not where you thought they were, foundations that may have settled unevenly — things that affect the space we’re trying to renovate,” said Daizy Duede, interior designer, Texas Tech University Housing, adding that Tommy Klein Construction’s problem-solving prowess recently saved the day on a renovation of the University’s Hulen Clement building.
“We were working with another contractor for the windows, but the windows didn’t come in the correct size.
Tommy Klein Construction worked with me to help me find a resolution to create and install the blinds,” Duede said. “This was something that could have been a really difficult problem, but they were very proactive and worked with their subcontractors to find a solution instead of throwing it in my lap and making me deal with it.”
Honesty, communication, anticipating problems, doing the best possible job on time no matter what — these words are Tommy Klein Construction’s brick and mortar. “If we see a problem beforehand, we don’t sit there and wait till the problem hits,” Tommy said. “We try to catch it beforehand. We get it all figured out and go. If we mess
up, we call them.”
Karen pointed out that at the end of the day the business really comes down to making a lasting, positive connection with the client.
“It’s really about relationships,” Karen said. “That’s what we’ve built with them.”
Tommy Klein Construction is one of 27 competitively awarded contract holders for job order contracting and is a Texas HUB certified vendor. For more information, contact Karen at (806) 438-3811.

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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

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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 or call Rodney Moore at 713-589-7400.

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