Pearland ISD officials recently began working on two critical planning steps to advance plans for a November bond election: strategic planning and facilities planning.
Trustees recently approved two consulting contracts designed to help guide the district through bond election strategy and the planning process. A $27,000 contract was approved with Engage, a firm that specializes in strategic planning and a $20,000 contract with Scott Milder, who works as an elections strategist for Stantec, a construction and architecture company.
Milder described his approach to election strategy in “Targeting voters in a school bond election”, an article published online by the School Superintendents Association.
Using special software, Milder can merge the voting history for a school district with with student directory information to create a list of likely registered voter parents by campus. According to the article, that data can then be merged with lists of local civic club memberships, booster clubs and an employee directory.
“Many registered voters never or rarely vote. Identifying those most likely to vote allows a targeted, one-to-one approach with those voters most likely to impact the outcome of your election,” Milder writes.
Using the targeted list, school administrators and staff members are then encouraged to start making phone calls.
“A voter who receives a call directly from the superintendent reminding them to vote and asking whether they have any questions is inspired to vote… and vote yes,” Milder writes.
But before focusing efforts toward a list of targeted voters, Milder recommends organizing a 45-50 person committee of community members and district staff to review the district’s goals and needs and make bond recommendations to the board.
“In many cases, the members of this committee create a political action committee to get out the ‘vote yes’ message, so it is important they have a positive experience.” Milder writes.
According to agenda documents, Milder’s $20,000 consulting fee will be reimbursed to the district via any future construction contracts awarded to his employer, Stantec.
Stantec and KBR
Stantec and the Houston-based architectural firm KBR were picked by trustees to provide architectural services on an “as-needed” basis at the Dec. 8 Board of Trustees meeting.
Trustees reviewed a list of 14 firms who submitted a statement of qualifications for the position including Stantec, KBR, CRE8 Architects, DLR Group, Corgan Architecture, Fanning Howey + House Partners, Huckabee, IBI Group, Kirksey Architecture, Pfluger Architects, Harrison Kornberg Architects, Powers Brown Architecture, SBWV Architects and VLK Architects.
Four Pearland ISD administrators and the City of Pearland Director of Engineering met and ranked each firm using six evaluation criteria measures: background and experience, previous experience with PISD and other districts, pre-bond planning, coordination and public relations, key project personnel, corporate financial qualifications and project management plan.
Of the 14 firms, KBR was awarded a perfect score. Stantec was ranked second and SBWV Architects was ranked third.
Trustees voted to approve the committee’s recommendation to hire KBR and Stantec.
According to agenda documents, the contracts with each firm will be negotiated at a later date once the details of future bond projects are known.