Financial instruments known as Time Warrants have been available to Texas public schools since 1995, however their flexibility for use in construction projects was limited due to their $500,000 maximum loan amounts and terms that were restricted to no more than five years. Now that’s all changed, thanks to the efforts of Southlake, Texas-based Government Capital Corporation and the Texas Rural Education Association. Effective September 1, 2013 the legislature passed House Bill 2610 which dramatically improved the efficiencies of using Time Warrant financing by expanding the terms up to 15 years and increasing the maximum loan amounts to $1 million. This means that school districts that have a need for capital improvement projects can supplement their available cash balances with Time Warrant financing, eliminating the need to obtain additional voter approved bonds. (more…)
Ramtech has released a new video that highlights the recently completed modular construction of the instructional and support facilities for the West (TX) ISD’s replacement middle and high school campus. Narrated by Dr. Marty Crawford, the District’s superintendent of schools, the video highlights the modular school buildings that are located on the West Middle School site which was destroyed by the massive fertilizer plant explosion on April 17 of last year. The temporary campus is comprised of 28 separate structures including 17 new relocatable modular buildings that were designed, manufactured, and installed by Ramtech. The 69,776 square foot modular construction project includes three 10-classroom buildings, four computer and science labs, two locker room buildings, an administrative office, cafeteria, band hall, and a life skills building.
As Ramtech begins to see more and more projects that are requiring LEED certification and sophisticated sustainability requirements, we have begun the process of developing an informational guide around sustainable construction alternatives that can aid public school districts in their decision-making process when planning for permanent school expansions. Planned during the first quarter of 2014, Ramtech’s Green Benefits guide will help educate schools on the efficiencies of using sustainable construction techniques that can be realized through the use of permanent modular construction like Ramtech’s highly adaptable Accelerated Building System process. Recognized by the Modular Building Institute, the trade association that represents the commercial modular building industry in promoting permanent modular construction across a wide variety of industries for public, private, and institutional applications, the Green Benefits advantages provide for sustainability through:
Less material waste using pre-fabrication in order to make it possible to optimize construction material purchases while minimizing the on-site waste caused by weather related damages.
Less site disturbances since the modular structure is constructed simultaneously off-site while the foundation and other site work takes place, thereby reducing the time and impact on the surrounding site environment including reducing the number of vehicles and equipment needed.
The off-site construction which helps eliminate the hazards associated with materials, equipment and incomplete construction processes that are typical of construction sites that can attract curious and unwelcome “visitors” (i.e. students on a school expansion project).
An adaptability inherent in modular buildings which are frequently designed to quickly add or remove one or more “modules” minimizing the disruptions to adjacent buildings and surroundings.
Ramtech has released a new promotional video that highlights a five-classroom relocatable modular building recently designed, manufactured, and constructed for Annunciation Orthodox School in Houston, TX. The new 6,400 square foot facility allowed Annunciation Orthodox to relocate their existing pre-K program from an older facility to the new modular school building as part of the private school’s long-range master plan. The modular construction project required the demolition of an existing building adjacent to the main campus structure which had been used as a storage facility for several years.
Ramtech has released an additional video testimonial that highlights the design, manufacture, and construction of an eight-classroom modular building recently built for the Hico Independent School District in Hico, TX. The new 8,064 square foot facility was part of a modular construction project that included the purchase of the modular school building as well as leasing two of Ramtech’s industry-leading portable classrooms through the Texas BuyBoard cooperative purchasing network. As part of a district wide facility consolidation program the multiple classroom building was installed on an adjacent parking lot at the current junior high school location in order to accommodate pre-kindergarten and elementary school students. (more…)
Ramtech has released a new promotional video highlighting our line of multiple classroom options for facility additions and expansions at public and private schools. The video provides an opportunity for educators to view the benefits of using our relocatable modular building designs which range in size from 4 to 16 classrooms and can be used to meet a wide variety of temporary or long-term use requirements. The video is part of our integrated promotional campaign designed to highlight a standard floor plan six-classroom modular wing addition that was installed as a demonstration facility adjacent to our corporate headquarters and manufacturing plant. The video will emphasize our abilities and show prospective school clients how they can meet their facility requirements using our customizable multiple classroom buildings. As a full service design-build construction company, we can provide them with a first-hand look at what we can be done using our approach to relocatable buildings and permanent modular construction.
For over 30 years we have provided public, private, and faith-based schools throughout the Southwest with portable classroom buildings through an inventory program that typically keeps over 50 two-classroom modular buildings (both with and without restrooms) on hand for immediate delivery. Available using sale or lease options, our program has enabled us to become the largest supplier of portable classrooms in the Southwest. During 2012, Ramtech provided nearly 100 portable classroom buildings to public, private, and charter schools in a five state area. The primary advantages to the two classroom modular building is they require little if any site preparation and are easily relocated as the needs of the school change. While multiple classroom buildings often require more site development, they do provide the look and feel of permanent facilities and are much faster and less expensive than actual site constructed school additions. They also can lead to a safer environment by allowing teachers and students to change classes while remaining in the same building for an entire school day. Individual classroom buildings can be designed and constructed to address requirements for computer and science labs, administrative offices, and specialty classrooms for all age groups. Exterior finishes can be as simple and low cost as R-panel steel siding, or as permanent looking as synthetic stucco or brick veneer paneling. The interior finishes are very similar to site constructed buildings including the use of T-grid ceilings, recessed lighting, vinyl covered sheetrock walls, and vinyl composition tile or carpeted floors. Custom multiple classroom buildings can also be designed, manufactured, and installed usually within a 60-90 day time frame depending on the site conditions and local permitting requirements.
Gary White is Vice President of Sales & Estimating at Ramtech Building Systems, Inc. He has been in the commercial modular industry for 33 years and is responsible for the management of all sales and estimating efforts across each of Ramtech’s key market segments: Education, Government, Medical, and Commercial.
Hidalgo County has occupied and is now using the three modular buildings that were purchased to be used as interim facilities during the County’s renovation of their existing courtroom structures which is expected to take 18-24 months. Built by Ramtech and purchased through the Texas Buyboard network purchasing cooperative, two of the buildings are providing courtroom and administrative support space for criminal, civil, and family and child protective services cases, while the third structure is being used for administrative space for the District Clerk’s office. (more…)
There are many challenges to modular construction, especially commercial modular construction which includes both temporary as well as permanent modular buildings used for schools, hospitals, office and retail facilities. Here in the U.S. it is challenging enough that the states having different regulatory requirements that control commercial modular construction, however the biggest problem usually occurs when a modular dealer, manufacturer, or general contractor takes on a project that they do not have the past experience to successfully complete. (more…)
As the rebuilding effort continues for the West Independent School District in West, Texas, Ramtech publicly announced that we completed the essential instructional and support facilities that were required for the District’s middle and high school students to start the 2013 school year on August 26. The temporary campus is comprised of 28 structures including 17 new relocatable modular buildings that are located on the West Middle School site that was destroyed by the massive fertilizer plant explosion on April 17 of this year. Ramtech designed, manufactured, and installed the 69,776 square foot modular construction project which includes three 10-classroom buildings, four computer and science labs, two locker room buildings, an administrative office, cafeteria, band hall, and a life skills building. All of the buildings were built with a 26 gauge R-panel metal exterior, and have interiors that incorporate vinyl covered gypsum on the walls and vinyl composition tiles for the floors. We anticipate the special use facilities to be completed and operational prior to September 15. All of the modular school buildings for the $2.5 million project were leased through the Texas BuyBoard cooperative purchasing network and will be used for the next two years while new intermediate/middle and high schools facilities are constructed.
Ramtech’s ongoing effort to promote the use of relocatable modular buildings for standard portables and multiple classroom additions and expansions got a big boost on August 8 when KXAN TV, the Austin, TX NBC affiliate featured Ramtech in the stations weekly “In-Depth Set for School” series which runs every Thursday during the six o’clock news broadcast. Led by education reporter Erin Cargile, the series focuses on issues relating to public education in Texas. The August 8 edition focused on the use of portable classrooms and other relocatable modular school buildings which are in heavy demand this year with school districts all across the state. Linc Moss went on camera and provided the KXAN crew with a tour of bothour manufacturing facility and the standard six-classroom demonstration facility that is installed here at our corporate campus. Interest in the use of relocatable modular buildings for education has continued to grow and is now part of the extensive facility planning for Austin ISD due to the partial rejection of the District’s bond election in May of this year. Video of the broadcast can be seen here: