Houston ISD makes good on promise to post school construction budgets online

Construction tunnel

The Houston school system has followed through with its promise of greater transparency and online access to details about its $1 billion building program.

The Houston Independent School District’s building program -- which will build more than 20 new schools and renovate 130 others -- has been beset by financial errors and budget planning problems. In October, HISD’s general manager of construction and facilities, Issa Dadoush, told Texas Watchdog the district planned by the end of fall to post online budgets for all the construction projects associated with the voter-approved bond program.

Those worksheets are now all online and can be viewed on a new HISD website here.

The projects are organized alphabetically by school campus name and can be viewed by “project type” (new schools, renovated schools) “school type” (elementary, middle, high) HISD regions, HISD districts and construction company involved.

Project details listed include the approved project budget and an estimate of how much of the project is complete. The information on the site will be updated quarterly, Dadoush said, and for more recent approved funding information, Dadoush points people to the minutes from the bond oversight committee posted here.

Texas Watchdog obtained copies of the construction worksheets through state public information laws and published all of the worksheets online here before HISD’s website was ready so the public could view them.

Contact Lynn Walsh, Lynn@TexasWatchdog.org, 713-228-2850 or on Twitter @LWalsh.

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Construction tunnel photo by flickr user spatulated, used under a Creative Commons license.