Facilities - New Schools and Capital Renovation 


New Schools and Capital Renovation Program is responsible for the Capital Improvements of all CPS facilities.



Our goals are three-fold:

  • Reduce overcrowding through new construction
  • Achieve an optimal standard of physical condition for each school through renovations
  • Improve learning through educational enhancements
  • Supporting the development of an experimental master plan


Goals in Progress:

  • Generating process maps for everything pertaining to capital related activities at CPS.  Assembling teams, prepare maps, and finalize for approval.  150 process maps have been completed, 45 process maps are in progress. 
  • Archiving old/original school drawings to a centrally located data repository within the CPS server and scanning old drawings which have not been done previously.
  • Implement Primavera scheduling software for department-wide increased accountability and increased program activity prioritization.  Going live on May 27, 2011.  Estimated yearly program savings to be $2,200,000. 
  • Install Primavera Contract Manager as a management tool that will enable all construction documentation to be transparent with the overall goal to decrease cycle times related to critical construction activities such as change management, RFI's and submittals.
  • Insure that all contract documents (plans and specs) are available on line at any time.  Eliminate all paper archiving of documents.  Estimated savings to be $34,000 each year. 
  • Institute a 360 evaluation system to monitor every resource in the department thereby providing greater accountability.
  • Eliminate CIP server and all support costs and migrate all information onto the CPS Oracle server.  Estimated savings to be $240,000 per year starting in 2012. 
  • Update the triennial assessment program so greater facility information is captured in the Oracle database which will be accessible district-wide.  Replaced the current assessment team with a more experienced assessment team, resulting in more information being captured with 25% less cost.  This will save CPS $360,000 this year. 
  • Prioritize a list of schools in split zoning districts and re-zone them through city hall.  93 schools total.  This saves almost 4 months on attaining a permit through the city. 
  • Develop quarterly awards recognizing Architect of the Quarter, Contractor of the Quarter and Project of the Year.
  • Create a project based costing system that will be used to determine the actual cost of projects and use this information to determine a better way to estimate future capital projects and determine which consultants require more resources to manage their work.  CPS will also require all consultants to sign in using a password for every copier and CPS will be tracking paper usage.  This is expected to reduce paper usage and result in cost savings of $13,000 per year. 
  • Develop Project Management Office to centralize the oversight of the entire project life by leveraging existing and future IT solutions.
  • Develop business analytics software to assist in monitoring over 40 key performance indicators using Oracle applications in real-time and posting results on Executive Dashboards
  • Develop a work flow application to standardize the project initiation process.


Current initiatives

In order to improve the learning environment, the Capital program has implemented several strategies. These include:

  • Renovations which include Americans with Disabilities Act upgrades
  • Installation of comfort control systems that can be monitored and controlled centrally
  • Recycling program for paper and chemicals used at the CPS facilities
  • Asbestos awareness training for school engineers
  • Assessing facilities on a three-year cycle to provide a basis for determining the work necessary for the capital plans


Accomplishments since April 2010

  • Implemented Errors and Omissions program to sharply reduce E&O's, increase accountability and generate revenue from the program. This is estimated to recoup over $135k in 2011.
  • Instituted Lessons Learned program for all capital projects which tracks the lessons learned, assigns responsibilities to each lesson, breaks down lessons learned into similar projects (PBC, JOC , MCR, MEP, etc) and follows through to make sure that mistakes are not repeated. Consisting of departmental-wide meetings in October, November and December.
  • Modified the way architectural contracts are structured so additional compensation is only warranted after 10% of additional design is completed.  This will save almost $450k in the 2011 program alone.
  • Revamped Construction Standards and Design Guidelines to standardize CPS best practices and developed standard details for ITS, Libraries and ADA projects in order to minimize life cycle maintenance costs. Contracted three spec writers to help facilitate this task.
  • Reduced reproduction costs 90% by reducing paper copies for all contract documents. Annual savings over $3,000,000 per year.
  • Sharply reduced the cost of change orders by providing independent cost estimates for any change order over $10,000 and analyzed in detail every change order presented to the committee. Estimated yearly savings to be over $2,750,000 in the past 12 months.
  • Reduced owner directed change orders to 1% of the overall construction cost by requiring sign-offs from all internal user groups at various design milestones.
  • Increased reliability and tracking of general contractor/architectural evaluations, thereby providing greater accountability.
  • Created a comprehensive 5 year Capital plan and Master Facility Plan.
  • Performed an ADA audit of all facilities to insure that we are meeting current ADA requirements district-wide.
  • Reduced overhead costs (internal staff, construction management, design management, environmental oversight, program management) as a percentage of construction costs by 65% year over year.
  • Developed and tracked over 40 Key Performance Indicators (in May 2010 there were only 3).



Currently, the management of the capital program is outsourced to consultants who specialize in the development and implementation of capital programs. The staff is located in the CPS central office to facilitate the use of CPS resources during the program execution.


M/WBE General Contractors Roundtable

Page Last Modified on Friday, January 24, 2014

Contact information

Facilities - News Schools and Renovation
125 South Clark Street
17th Floor
Chicago, Illinois 60603
Phone: (773) 553-2900
Fax: (773) 553-2921