Case Study

San José - Evergreen Community College

The Challenge

San José-Evergreen Community College District issued $425 million in General Obligation Bond funds designated for building new educational facilities in the district and repairing existing ones within five (5) years. With the start of the Measure X program, SJECCD knew the occasion called for an improved level of efficiency, transparency, and record-keeping to manage over 100 capital improvement projects spanning four separate sites, 216 acres and 1.6 M GSF of Building Space.

The Solution

Procore’s cloud-based collaborative platform proved the fiscally prudent solution the district needed––providing seamless communications, cross-project standardization, crystal clear document management, and an unlimited user license that covers as many workers as any given project requires.

The Results

“The value that the taxpayers get from implementing this software—it's night and day. We’re going to manage $100 million worth of work each year for the next three, and thanks to Procore we’re managing projects better with fewer people.”
Terrance DeGray
Associate Vice Chancellor, Physical Plant Development and Operations
San José-Evergreen Community College District

Spreadsheets in Silicon Valley

San José-Evergreen Community College District (SJECCD) approached their board with a proposal to issue $425 million in General Obligation Bonds. These monies would fund an array of sorely needed projects over several years, heavily revamping aging structures in the district, and in some cases building new ground-up facilities. The larger projects would be delivered through a progressive design-build model––a first for the district––and an approach whose added internal complexity would require a project management platform to replace SJECCD’S existing processes and procedures, which involved spreadsheets to track RFIs and Submittals.

SJEECD’s spreadsheets would have to go. The district was, after all, in the heart of Silicon Valley––globally renowned ground zero of 21st century tech innovation. When Terrance DeGray came aboard, fresh from having overseen a number of design-builds for Long Beach Community College District (LBCCD) and their $1.3B Capital Improvement Bond Program, he had with him an idea that was perfectly-suited to SJECCD’s fork in the road.

exterior rendering of building

Public Project. Public Monies. Public Trust. Procore.

“I’d done multiple design-build projects and traditional design-bid-build projects at Long Beach City College,” DeGray says. “When I came here in January of last year, SJECCD was just a couple of months out from advertising the large capital improvement projects utilizing alternate delivery methods, such as progressive design-build and lease leaseback. We knew we had to get a system and updated general and special conditions in place before the projects were off and running.” DeGray—Associate Vice Chancellor of Physical Plant Development and Operations at San José-Evergreen Community College District—knew what the situation called for; a system whose transparency and effortless document management was tailor-made for these rigorously public projects. In his previous role at Long Beach, he’d done his research, found the solution, and made a detailed Procore pitch to his colleagues there. They’d made the switch, launching a spate of project successes, including the first state funded design-build delivered project, with no increase in program staffing.

DeGray brought that experience with him to SJECCD and championed the platform’s single source of truth and other public project-related virtues. Procore’s cloud-based system features unlimited licenses, unlimited support, unlimited data storage, and real-time visibility into project status. The transparency, document management clarity, and budget-focused efficiencies of Procore rise to the public agency occasion. SJECCD signed on. “Here we have a fiduciary responsibility to the taxpayer,” DeGray says. “We have to make sure we're spending these bond dollars as responsibly as we can. Procore helps us see to that.”

As a public entity, San José Evergreen needed a platform that was cyber-secure—one that would not require complicated and resource-intensive IT involvement. “Procore’s cloud-based solution and security took all the worry out of our IT department,” DeGray says.

exterior of building under construction

Data to the People

Procore’s unlimited license model makes it easy to add more teams and workers to the project platform as bond projects unfold. “Right now, we have almost 300 users in our system, and we haven’t started construction on the largest projects yet,” DeGray says.  “Once we get ramped up we'll probably have a thousand people in the program, maybe more. If we’d gone with a one user/one license system, we would be paying a lot of money for licenses alone.” When accounting doesn’t have to track license headcount, it makes for a more fluid, and informed, project workforce. “Getting data to the most people, sharing information as broadly as we can—I can’t stress how important that is.” DeGray wants to mention one other (somewhat unsung) aspect of SJECCD’s construction management system; Procore engages the user. “Procore is actually made with such depth, knowledge, and industry best practices—it’s fun to use. The team was excited to use Procore.” The platform also acts as a repository of every granular detail, document, and byte of data that comprise the project over its life cycle. 

“Every prime contractor is required to use our Procore license,” DeGray emphasizes. “In that way, the district owns the data in perpetuity, having unfettered access to it down the line for operations and maintenance as needed, for as long as the building stands—and for analytics applicable to future builds. We have all the data in one place, and we own it. We write into the project documents that Procore is to be the system the contractors use.”

DeGray knows that the proper solution will engender conversation, spur informed creativity, and otherwise energize the field. The right technology serves the worker who wields it, sometimes in unexpected ways. “Listening to people, providing them with the tools to learn and grow—of course that helps with retention. They’re spending less time doing mundane entry tasks and more time actually solving critical problems. It really boosts morale, and makes a happier and more engaged staff—one that is more productive and more knowledgeable. All to the benefit of the district, and the taxpayer.”

exterior rendering of building

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