Houston faced a growing population – up to 5,000 new students annually – and needed a timely, cost-effective way to add capacity.
Houston Independent School District, which leases two, new high schools; Gilbane Development Company, which built and financed the schools.
Gilbane and the school district created a tax-exempt lease/purchase structure, where Gilbane was responsible for delivering the two new schools that it would lease back to the school district for 20 years. At the end of the lease, the district has the option to buy the schools for $1 each. This arrangement left the school system’s bonding capital available for other projects.
In essence, Gilbane financed the schools and managed their construction. They delivered the buildings – at 20 percent below budget and in 20 months, in time for the start of the school year. Each school has nearly 500,000 square feet to house a total of 6,000 students. The schools include computer and science labs, auditoriums, field house, vocational/industrial learning areas and more.