Regional Black Contractors Association Accuses DISD of ‘Anti-Diversity’ Proposal


The Regional Black Contractors Association criticized the Dallas Independent School District for a cost-cutting measure it’s saying is an “anti-diversity proposal.”

Last February, DISD named three firms as project managers for its $1.6 billion bond program. One of the firms was Dallas-based Dikita Engineering, a minority-owned firm.

“Unfortunately, despite the gains in civil and human rights experienced in America at large over the last five decades, the architecture, engineering and construction industry has lagged well behind in terms of diversity, inclusion and racial justice,” said RCBA president John Proctor in a statement. “And, we are sad to report, that a measure now being considered by DISD demonstrates why this shameful inequity persists.”

DISD is looking to terminate the services of the three project managers. Instead, DISD proposes to add up to 29 additional employees to perform the services in-house. Eliminating the project managers would save DISD approximately $57 million, according to a workshop presentation in November.

“I understand their concerns,” said Scott Layne, DISD chief of operations. “But I think once the entire program is explained, everybody will have a greater understanding of what we’re trying to do.”

Why is DISD looking to save money? Dallas-Fort Worth construction costs have soared in recent years as the area attracts relocations. Supply hasn’t caught up with demand yet so costs have risen more than DISD thought they would in 2013.

Click here to read more

Source: Dallas Business Journal | Evan Hoopfer