The Mission

Partner with the Houston Independent School District (HISD) to develop a creative, cost-conscious plan to provide schools that would accommodate the area’s surging student population, which included 5,000 new students annually.

The Solution

We partnered with HISD to create a tax-exempt lease/purchase structure whereby Gilbane Development Company assumed all delivery risk for the facilities and leased the space back to the school district. This transaction strategy was engineered to meet the statutory criteria for HISD and the State of Texas. In addition, it provided final costs that were more than 20 percent below budget. By shifting the responsibilities of obtaining financing and facility delivery to a private group, our strategy guaranteed the delivery program, prevented long-term debt for the school district, and freed school bond capital for other uses.

Each school is just under 500,000 SF and features state-of-the-art computer/science labs, a natatorium, auditoriums, vocational/industrial spaces, field houses—and a stimulating learning environment for 6,000 students. The schools were completed in 20 months, just in time for the beginning of the school year.

The Details

At the end of the 20-year lease term, HISD had the option to purchase the schools for one dollar each.