Atlanta Public Schools

Like most urban school systems, Atlanta Public Schools (APS) faces a considerable number of capital projects, ranging from addressing deferred maintenance and dealing with consolidation to handing overcrowding. Since starting its work with APS in 1986 on a finite consulting role to help the district secure federal grant money to revamp its energy management program, Heery has completed an additional four assignments on large bond and Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) funded programs. The success of Heery’s work for APS more than 20 years ago was the beginning of a long and prolific partnership to improve K-12 schools throughout Atlanta.

Heery’s history of delivering cost-efficient, high quality projects resulted in the Firm being commissioned in 1993 by APS for a five-year, $258 million bond-funded program to renovate 72 elementary, middle and high schools. In 1997, APS extended Heery’s contract to an indefinite delivery type contract to keep Heery on an ongoing construction management role. When the contract expired in 1997, APS extended it so Heery could continue as a valued extension of its staff. In 2001, APS needed a second phase of renovations at its elementary and middle schools. Heery’s team shepherded design and construction plans through approval, reviewed and approved estimates and contracts, developed and maintained project schedules, processed change orders and provided move management services. For the remaining five schools, Heery served in a construction management capacity.

The long-standing relationship between Heery and the Atlanta Public Schools exemplifies Heery’s approach to client services and relationship building. In its work on behalf of the APS, Heery’s advice and guidance often resulted not only in budgets being met, but in reducing projected costs even further and to significant degrees. Heery’s ability to manage budgets, schedules, and other project tangibles is paralleled by its experience in building rapport with multiple stakeholders and providing the leadership to keep diverse project teams on track.

Key components of the APS projects include:

  • Performed services for 15 separate contracts for APS.
  • Delivered the first LEED facility for APS—a 450-student elementary school.
  • Completely renovated and re-envisioned the facilities for one of the lowest performing schools in the district to create an innovative, academy-style specialty high school.
  • Provided staff augmentation for three SPLOST bond-funded, five-year renovation programs, totaling more than $1.4 billion, allowing renovation or rebuilding of more than 60 schools.
  • Developed an energy-efficient program that reduced costs, while creating a more comfortable environment for students, faculty, and staff and provided utility savings of approximately $789,000 the first year and save more than $16 million over the next ten years.
  • Developed a comprehensive, system-wide energy management strategy, followed by the implementation and expansion of the program at 30 schools.
  • Reviewed budget costs for construction costs and reduced projected costs in one program phase by 17.4 percent, which equaled more than $7 million in savings.
  • Over the course of the program, as many as 11 of Heery’s staff have been on site as full-time team members, and Heery continues to serve as staff extension for the APS.


Program Management
Construction Management


Atlanta, GA