Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Just The Facts, Ma'am

School Board Directors Dan Remely and Elaine Cappucci presented a clear and detailed breakdown of the High School renovation project at last night's School Board meeting.  School Board Director Jo Posti spells out those facts today on her blog, Center Court.  I've pasted them below as well.  Thanks to Jo, Dan and Elaine for helping to clear up the misconceptions and outright misinformation being circulated about this project.

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As Mr. Remely and Mrs. Cappucci pointed out last night during the architects' update, a $75 million [High School renovation] project does not exist. Entertaining such a project would:
  • Result in added costs associate with a complete redesign
  • Not solve the zoning issues currently pending litigation
  • Provide no funds for any classroom or lab improvements
  • Provide no funds for new technology
  • Provide no funds for improvements to the auditorium or fine arts theater outside of ADA compliance
  • Keep the current 5-lane pool
  • Keep all three cafeterias but not provide staging space for the expanded elementary lunch program
  • Make no improvements to special education space or design for inclusion
  • Keep the current athletic space with no new field house
  • Not allow for LEED certification or the resulting $1.2 million State reimbursement
  • Keep energy costs at a similar level to our current cost
  • Require modular classrooms and an extended construction schedule
  • Require waiting 20 years for any additional renovation in order to apply for State reimbursement
Mr. Remely calculated what could be done for $75 million and estimated that if we were to renovate the existing facility with a $75 million cap, we would only renovate the current building and we might expect to see a budget such as this:
  • Contingency: $7.5 million (10% of project budget)
  • Mechanical / Electrical improvements:  $35 million ($39 million was original estimate)
  • Roofs:  $2.5 million
  • ADA upgrades:  $7,360,000 (required for projects renovating at least 25% of plant)
  • Exterior:  $7.6 million (bringing windows and walls up to code)
  • Owners' soft costs:  $3 million (permits, construction manager, legal fees)
  • Abatement:  $6.5 million (originally estimated at $7.4 million but there may be less material than previously thought to require abatement)
  • Architects' fees:  $6.3 million (fee plus supervision of the abatement project)
This would take the project to $75,760,000 without making any interior or FF&E improvements, which he estimated to be another $13,250,000 for a total project cost of $89,010,000.

So while I appreciate the time constituents took to write the Board asking for a project cap, I wish those who asked them to write had taken the time to provide complete information related to a $75 million cap.  In the scenario described above, a $75 million budget would be exceeded and 13 or the project's 15 design criteria would not be met.  At the project's current projected budget of $113 million or $18 per month more than the initial bond for a house assessed at $200,000 we will:
  • Develop appropriately-sized classrooms, labs, and adjacencies
  • Reduce square footage to reflect our current and future enrollment needs
  • Build large-group space for collaborative instruction
  • Improve band, orchestra and chorus rehearsal space
  • Develop appropriate fine arts space
  • Centralize the library
  • Build ESL and special education space that is appropriately located to encourage inclusion
  • Meet all ADA requirements, including centralized elevators
  • Decrease the number of entrances and install security cameras, improving security
  • Position services near the entrances
  • House gyms in one location, improving gym security to the competition gym
  • Build an 8-lane pool
  • Increase the size of the wrestling room
  • Improve locker room spaces, eliminating the need for the current field house
  • Obtain Silver LEED certification
  • Decrease energy costs
  • Develop natural daylighting
  • Reduce the number of cafeterias to one and provide staging for the elementary lunch program
  • Completely renovate both theaters
  • Renovate central office and community-use space