As the Middle/High school project continues, we want to remind the community of the process and where we are with the project’s finances. Here’s a brief overview.
The accepted project bid last spring was for $18,496,000 with a contingency sum of $250,000. On top of that, the district received a bid to conduct renovations to the auditorium. That bid amount came to $415,000 to bring the auditorium in line with modern safety and accessibility standards. In the hopes of finding savings throughout the entire MS/HS project, the district moved forward with the auditorium construction. In addition to limiting disruption due to construction, doing these projects concurrently made more financial sense as well.
The costs associated with the auditorium are being paid out of the district’s capital improvements fund, not the bond funds associated with Prop B. However, the projects are tied together since both bids went to K&S construction, so costs for the auditorium upgrades are showing as part of the running total for Prop B costs.
To date, the current cost of the project, including the auditorium funds and the change orders, is about $18,734,000.
During the planning phase for Prop B, the district knew there would be some unexpected costs associated with renovating a 100-year-old building. To help, the district ensured its capital improvements fund could help support project needs that might arise.
Here’s a breakdown of some of the reasons for change orders on the Middle/High school project:
- Sensible and timely updates:
Some of the change orders were to improve and fix areas of the building that weren’t included in the original bid. Typically, these improvements would be bid separately and occur outside the scope of work being done for Prop B. However, it made more financial sense to include them in the work currently being done since areas of the building were exposed and more readily accessible. While it means the expenses for this project rise, it means savings in the future as the work is more affordable when the building is already being renovated. One example is additional work that was done in the kitchens. While not originally a part of the project, it made sense to pay for these necessary upgrades now when the walls were already open to cut down costs for opening and resealing areas where work was already being completed.
- Aging building issues:
Many of the other change orders are related to the age of the building. Before the project began, the district anticipated that there would be additional costs to fix unexpected issues. The district took extra steps to save in its capital projects budget to be able to address issues that arise when you start renovations in a hundred-year-old building. Some of the major areas that required attention were abatement and structural repairs that were not obvious until work began in certain areas of the building.
Now that most of the work is out of the ground and will be focused on new construction, we expect fewer change orders than what appeared in the first few months of the project. While the current cost of the project is about $238,000 higher than the original bid, remember that includes work toward the $415,000 additional auditorium bid as well as the change orders mentioned above. Overall, the trajectory for the project is proceeding as expected and the district will continue to work with the contractors to make the project as affordable as possible.
If you ever have questions about the project or its process, please feel free to contact the district directly. You can submit a question on our website at www.brentwoodmoschools.org using the “contact us” link. You can also call us at 314-962-4507.