The BHS/BTC Building Construction Oversight Committee (BCOC) held a public meeting on February 20th. In addition to the recap below, the meeting minutes and this presentation have been published on our Re-Envisioning website. Please mark your calendar and plan to join us for a follow-up meeting on March 9th at 5:30 PM at EMS.
The purpose of February’s meeting was to provide the committee and the public with detailed information about the new overall project estimate as well as options available to reach the $70 million target.
During the meeting, our construction manager Whiting-Turner presented on their approach to estimating this project and our architects at Black River Design presented on cost breakouts, cost-saving options, and the path to $70 million.
The presentation revealed that the cost estimate for the project in its current configuration (based on the design presented at the December 19, 2019 meeting) is $82.5 million, or about $12.5 million more than voters approved. Drivers of the cost increase are due in large part to:
- Façade renovations and structural upgrades due to PCB abatement and abatement costs
- Premiums associated with the recently adopted 3-Acre Rule Site requirements
- Urban Soil Management: Unforeseen contaminated soils were found on-site
- Increases in Owner-side expenses
- Program scope creep
- Additional structural upgrades for unforeseen seismic loading requirements
- Escalations/Market Conditions
Following this, Black River suggested a number of reductions to the project to bring the cost down to within the voter-approved $70 million. These reductions include:
- CHPS Certification
- Canopy at Bike Parking
- Existing Gym Floor Replacement
- Owner Furniture Budget
- Interior Finishes
- Galleria/Enlarge B-D connector
- F building renovations
- Alternate HVAC System (limited air conditioning)
- Auxiliary Gym
The group also suggested removing the student parking lot and bleacher replacement pieces from the scope of the project and using capital funds to pay for those items instead.
BCOC members will spend the next few weeks studying the cost-saving options and recommendations before re-convening on March 9th for a question and answer session. In the meantime, BSD has provided the project’s schematic design documents to a third party estimator for a second opinion.
The goal is that after studying this information this committee will be ready and able to make a recommendation to the School Board, who can then make a recommendation to the City’s Board of Finance. If the Board of Finance approves those recommendations, we will be able to commence the Design Development phase of the project.
As this work moves forward, there are a number of things we hope the community will keep in mind:
- While the overall estimate is over the $70 million voters approved for the project, we are not currently over budget as we have not yet begun construction.
- A path to reach that $70 million target has been identified and our FY21 school budget proposal includes borrowing for this project with $70 million as the driver for our borrowing estimates and construction anticipated to begin Spring 2021.
- All of the numbers you see and hear are approximate, “rough order of magnitude” as we are still in the Schematic Design phase.
- This is still relatively early in the design process so details and numbers are subject to change.
- We have engaged an independent, experienced, third-party estimator to check and reconcile this estimate and the dollar values of the cost-saving options.
- The project team that put together this information is officially neutral on the cost-cutting options; these options are presented so that the BCOC can make informed decisions about how to get the project on budget.
- The BCOC did not make any firm decisions at this meeting; we hope that decisions will be made at a follow-up meeting to be held on Monday, March 9 from 5:30 – 7:00 in the EMS library. That meeting will be open to the public.
Please mark your calendar and plan to join us March 9th, 5:30 PM at EMS.