An Open Letter to the Community from Superintendent of Schools Theresa Servellon

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

San Benito CISD community and stakeholders,

San Benito CISD continues to be committed to ensuring our pending community-approved bond projects are completed and are the state-of-the-art facilitates promised – buildings that will not only be a focal point for our students’ instructional endeavors, but also built to last.

In March of 2023, our District learned that the building foundations for the performing arts center (PAC) and natatorium (NAT) were possibly placed in the wrong area. That could mean the foundations were not on top of the geopiers that were positioned underground to support the weight of both buildings.

A geopier is a ground improvement technique that prestrains and prestresses the ground using soil “displacement” and “replacement” technology to strengthen soft and loose soil with very dense, stiff, rock columns compacted by heavy equipment. The chosen location’s ground for the PAC and NAT needed to strengthened by geopiers so that the buildings’ foundation would be stable.

After learning about the potential misplacement of the buildings, the District directed the contractor (Davila Construction, Inc.) to stop work on the NAT in order to evaluate the building’s foundation in connection to the geopiers. A preliminary evaluation of the PAC was also conducted, and it was found that the NAT and PAC were not in the right place. This evaluation was completed by an independent surveyor. The report showed that the NAT and PAC foundations were not placed on the geopiers. The District took the advice of architects and engineers and has decided to stop work/building for the next two weeks to make further determinations regarding both buildings.

The District is seeking specific information regarding the building placement and how the structure can be reinforced even when the geopiers are not directly under the foundation as dictated by the design plan and required for foundation stabilization. Experts will work on possible solutions as well as give the District options on next steps related to proceeding with the construction of the PAC and NAT.

The school board’s and District’s pledge is to deliver state-of-the-art buildings that are safe for our students and also that these buildings are a point of pride for our community. The intent of the District is transparency and to continue to inform you every step of the way. We ask for your support as we go through this process and assure you that all information regarding these projects will be shared with the San Benito community.

As always, thank you for your holding our District to the high standard our students’ deserve.


Theresa Servellon,
Superintendent of Schools