• Prefabricated-building maker Casaflex seeks contracts
  • President Pena Nieto plans to upgrade 32,000 schools by 2018

Empresas ICA SAB, through its Casaflex joint venture, will seek contracts among the $3 billion Mexico is allocating to overhaul thousands of state-run schools, the partnership’s president and founder said.

Casaflex may participate in up to 20 percent of the upgrades at schools across the country, the president, architect Carlos Garciavelez, said in a telephone interview. The partnership was formed more than four years ago and is half owned by Mexcio’s biggest builder ICA, he said.

"It would be difficult for you to find a better proposal than ours," Garciavelez said.

Casaflex, which constructs prefabricated buildings in the state of Hidalgo, would seek to fix and expand schools as part of a government program to upgrade 32,000 educational facilities serving 5.2 million students by 2018, Garciavelez said.

Winning a slice of the school upgrades would be a boost for ICA as it struggles with Mexico’s stagnant infrastructure programs and its own ballooning debt. President Enrique Pena Nieto promised massive school renovations as he seeks to implement an education overhaul -- including teacher evaluations -- that has triggered widespread demonstrations in southern Mexico.

The plan he announced in September would be funded by education and infrastructure bonds which the government will begin selling this year with a 4.5 billion peso ($274 million) issuance, government officials said.

ICA declined to comment about Casaflex’s plans.

In the past two and a half years, Casaflex has renovated about 200 public schools, some of them built from scratch, Garciavelez said. The company, which Garciavelez said is worth about 1.5 billion pesos, builds prefabricated classrooms, bathrooms and lunchrooms, he said.

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