As the second largest school district in the country, The Los Angeles Unified School District educates more than 750,000 students through 900 schools in 11 local districts. Because the latest high school in the district was built in 1973, existing schools were in much need of renovations and modernization. In addition, new facilities needed space for a growing student population.
In 2007, the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) retained Heery to perform program and construction management of 139 schools located in LAUSD Region 2. The region was made up of seven high schools and numerous other feeder schools consisting of middle schools and elementary schools. The modernization contract was part of a larger bond program that exceeds $20 billion in program funding. Funding for Region 2 projects totaled $102 million.
Heery’s role involved cradle to grave construction management. Services included master planning, programming, feasibility assessments, design, bid and award, construction management, and project certification. The facility improvement projects were categorized into more than 40 project types, from replacing fire alarm and air conditioning systems to building new food service facilities.
The process of updating 139 high school campuses greatly enhances the educational experience for students throughout LAUSD. The ultimate objective of the program was to modernize the school facilities throughout Region 2 to “provide a quality learning environment for the future leaders of Los Angeles.” The scope of the LAUSD modernization projects led by Heery was one of the largest of its kind in the country and reflected the local commitment to providing access to quality education for all. The project required an ability to manage a labyrinth of project details, budgets, staff and schedules, all while keeping the client informed of and satisfied with timely, on budget results.
Beyond its expertise in managing the day-to-day details of construction, Heery has built a reputation for its ability to rally diverse team members to achieve common goals on behalf of the client. Flexibility and agility were crucial to managing a program of this scale. Heery came on board to lead Region 2 after the project roster had been managed unsuccessfully by another firm for a number of years. Heery quickly assumed control, assembled a new team and implemented an aggressive operating procedures to turn the projects around in a mere six months. From the client’s own statements, Heery’s performance on behalf of LAUSD exceeded all expectations, and today the projects are providing quality facilities to the children, teachers and administrators of Region 2. In the process, the program has become a model for others to follow.