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Cost keeps rising for school projects
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The cost for projects at Bobby Ray and West Elementary could be closer to $6 million.

“We are thinking the overall project costs will be $5,966,400,” said Upland Design Group architect Allen Hill to members of the county Education Committee. “That’s our base bid cost estimate right now.”

During December’s Warren County School Board meeting, an estimated cost of $5.4 million was given. Hill explained $5.4 million was an estimate on actual construction costs, while $5.9 million includes that and items such as geotechnical investigation, fire marshal review fees, and contingency for unknown expenses.

“Bobby Ray is scheduled to do first,” said Hill. “West will follow a few months later. There will be some overlap as construction at West will begin before Bobby Ray is complete.”

“Why did you decide to go with Bobby Ray first and not West?” asked Commissioner Diane Starkey.
Hill said the main reason is logistics in that West’s project will require interior renovation of the building that cannot be done while school is in session, but the connector building at Bobby Ray Elementary can be.

“That was the main reason, just logistics of construction,” he said. “Another reason Bobby Ray is tracking a little bit ahead of the West project is that it’s easier to define. There are more unknowns at West. For example, there are some concerns about existing sewer pipes underneath the floor at West. The hall at West is terrazzo, which is great material that has held up well. Boy, I hate to go in and cut that and trench in order to put in new piping. We are looking at a way to run a new sewer line on the backside of the building so we won’t have to do that.”

Bobby Ray’s overall project estimate is between $2.6 and $2.9 million.

Hill said consideration is still being given to using the lower level of building A at Bobby Ray, what is now its main entrance, exclusively for pre-K.

An elevator at Bobby Ray is among construction alternates. Cost estimate is $150,000 to $200,000.
“About $80,000 to $90,000 is the elevator itself,” said Hill. “The rest is the enclosure around it and doing modifications in the existing building to be able to get to the elevator.”

Hill also offered a summary of the West Elementary project that was similar to the one given in December with expansion of the gymnasium, renovation of existing bathrooms, reconfiguring existing space, and additional classrooms. 

Hill anticipates the first project would go out for bids approximately May 1. The second project would be out for bids approximately Sept. 1.

Firm numbers on construction costs will be unknown until bids are received.