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In February 2017, BCA Architects was hired to take on the program management services for Huntington Beach City School District in Huntington Beach, CA, and Santa Cruz City Schools in Santa Cruz, CA. The districts passed general obligation bonds in the amounts of $159 million and $208 million, respectively, and will be selling these bonds to pay for facilities improvements at their campuses over the next 6-12 years.

This ushers in a new era for BCA Architects, who has historically provided program management services to assist in project implementation, but this is the first time the firm has been hired to provide program management services under a separate contract prior to the project implementation phase. “This just demonstrates the keen sense that we (BCA) have for the management of public education bond programs,” said Brian P. Whitmore, AIA – LEED AP, President of BCA Architects. “We understand intimately the steps necessary to manage a successful bond program and bring a tremendous amount of value to the process.”

Among the services under these contracts, BCA will be providing needs assessment, prioritization and phasing of projects, estimating, cash flow analysis, state eligibility analysis and even developing and promoting websites for the districts to use in marketing the bonds to the community. BCA will also be implementing a number of “Demonstration Classrooms” at various sites in each district to help the client understand the necessity of modern classroom design in a global education, and also allow them to fine tune the program before modernizing the majority of their teaching spaces district-wide. The contracts will carry the districts through this Spring, and will transition into a monthly support contract as the projects begin the implementation phase. Currently, BCA is slated to implement approximately $82 million of the $208 million total for Santa Cruz City Schools, and a similar percentage (if not larger portion), for Huntington Beach City School District.

“It builds trust,” adds Whitmore. “By spending the time now to fully understand the issues and present a clear road map for bond expenditures will ultimately pay dividends not only for BCA, but for the other architects working with the districts, the client and the community alike.”