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The District was established in 1951 when five rural districts merged together in San Antonio’s southwest and has since grown to eleven (11) elementary schools, three (3) middle schools, and two (2) high schools. As the City’s population has continued to grow in the southwest, the District has begun the process of upgrading its oldest high school campus, Southwest High School which currently serves over 3,000 students. As part of the renovation process, the District identified the need to upgrade and replace the main electrical distribution system in the original high school building, upgrade of the fire alarm system, lighting control system, and electrical work in remodeled areas including a new amphitheater, entry vestibule, mall and a state-of-the-art health nursing lab to prep students for a possible career choice into medicine.

The Southwest ISD selected Joeris General Contractors to serve as the Construction Manager at Risk to construct the project. As part of a competitive subcontractor bidding process, Central Electric was selected to perform electrical construction services including all major electrical systems, fire alarm, lighting controls and electrical gear distribution upgrades. Central Electric began its services on 2020 and performed over 20,000 hours of work for the project with zero lost time incidents. As described above, a critical component of this project was to upgrade and replace the main electrical distribution system in the original high school building. All aspects of the work required extensive planning and coordination with the owner given the school’s busy schedule. Another aspect of this project was to upgrade the fire alarm system with a state-of-the-art voice evacuation Siemens fire alarm annunciation system. This included over 1,500 fire alarm devices and modules, as well as over seven (7) miles of fire alarm cabling. The Central Electric team developed creative processes for designing & installing the system while trying to maintain the existing Fire Alarm system online. Additionally, our team had to closely engineer a system that attempted to follow the boundaries of the various construction phases, which required work in occupied and unoccupied areas. Pre-fabrication and quality control were a key component in dealing with these life safety systems. While construction occurred during the day, our fire alarm crews worked on evenings to make sure no rooms in adjacent work areas were left incomplete. The new lighting control system was equally as complicated given the electrical circuiting for the corridor and egress emergency lighting did not necessarily follow the path of phased construction boundaries. Our team had to be creative of keeping existing lighting circuits energized while modifying and installing the new control system. As new remodeled areas were brought online, so were the new energy efficient lighting controls and emergency lights. Our team successfully deployed pre-fabricated components to speed the process and cut back on field labor. Lastly, as part of the additional major remodeling, Central Electric was required to utilize more than 12 lifts in the air across various trades to perform work at heights above 35’. To successfully complete this critical work, Central Electric utilized a Trimble robot off the floor to lay out major electrical components (lighting, speakers, fire alarm devices, etc). The respective trade contractors worked closely with the Joeris team to keep the ground clear for the various trade boom lifts.

Electrical Scope of Work

Central Electric was subcontracted by Joeris General Contractors to provide electrical construction services including:

  • Mobilization

  • Branch Conduit and Boxes

  • Branch Wiring

  • Feeder Conduit

  • Feeder Wiring

  • Distribution/Gear Installation

  • Fixture Installation and Trim Out

  • Low Voltage Rough-In

  • Demolition

  • Gear Distribution Package

  • Light Fixture Package

  • Fire Alarm Package  

  • Underground Site Work

Through Central Electric’s dedication to incorporate project management best practices in its approach, it was able to complete the project with zero safety incidents, no added days for the project’s duration and on budget. Furthermore, Central Electric was part of a key project in the quality of life of students in southwest San Antonio who utilize the campus. Through the completion of this project, Southwest ISD has successfully modernized its oldest high school to provide the highest-level quality of education possible.

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