Feature Photo: An interior view of the BiblioTech South on Pleasanton Road. Bexar County is adding a new BiblioTech to the CAST High School campus.
by Adolfo Pesquera
San Antonio (Bexar County) — Bexar County Commissioners Court approved a professional services agreement on Aug. 18 to have Muñoz and Company design and administer construction of the BiblioTech EDU project.
The agreed upon fee for services was $140,000. The request was brought by the county’s Facilities Management office.
It should probably have been no surprise that the contract went to Muñoz. They’ve handled the county’s other BiblioTech projects since the program began.
However, there were 14 companies that submitted bids to the Request for Qualifications that was issued back on Dec. 31 2019. These included Gensler, KNRG Architecture, Pfluger Architects, Stantec Architecture, and Studio8 Architects.
This particular BiblioTech project, named the Bexar BiblioTech EDU (or CAST Tech BiblioTech), is to be located at 637 N. Main Avenue, home of the San Antonio Independent School District’s CAST Tech campus (an outgrowth magnet school of what is otherwise known as Fox Tech High School).
This project involves the renovation of an existing building owned by SAISD and leased by Bexar County for a BiblioTech EDU that will occupy approximately 8,400 square feet on the shared campus of Fox Tech, CAST Tech and the Advanced Learning Academy.
It will serve as the campus hub for instruction, research and learning enrichment programs for students and their families during school hours.
The public will have free access to library resources and technology, as well as library space amenities including a recording studio, three study rooms, learning lab, community room, makers’ space and robotics room.
The main reading room will host 48 desktop computers with dual operating systems to facilitate both iOS and Windows user experience.
Additional technology will include 20 Macbook Pros and 20 iPad Pros for internal circulation, 100 e-readers for external circulation as well as hotspots available for external circulation to students to support off-campus learning.
The facility is also programmed to have a recording studio equipped with technology to facilitate podcast, music and narrative recording. Additionally, the maker’s space will support 3-D Printing and table top STEM equipment.
The Statements of Qualifications were due Jan. 21, 2020. Yes, this selection process did take longer than usual.
VBX Project ID 2020-631E.
About CAST Tech High School:
Located downtown in two freshly-renovated buildings on the Fox Tech campus, the school will work hand-in-hand with industry partners to prepare students for careers in technology and business, fields where the demand is high for talented workers.
Some features of the unique program include hands-on projects and real world problems to solve, as well as job shadowing, mentorships, internships and job opportunities upon graduation.
CAST Tech will use computer-based learning to allow students to progress more quickly in areas where they have mastered concepts, allowing them to dive more deeply into projects and areas of great interest.
College coursework is embedded in the program, and students can graduate with an associate’s degree, industry certifications and portfolios that feature long-term projects and other examples of their work.
Industry partners for CAST Tech include: H-E-B, Tech Bloc, Whataburger, JungleDisk, Root 9B, Geekdom, Rackspace, AT&T, USAA, Frost Bank, and University Health System.