Fact Check No. 5: Construction costs
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — This is the fifth installment in Steamboat Pilot & Today’s “Fact Check” series on key topics related to the Referendums 4B and 4C — Steamboat Springs School Board’s proposed $79.5 million bond and associated mill levy.
During a nearly two-year process documented by the Steamboat Springs School District at buildingforthefuture.ssk12.org, consultants, staff members and community volunteers narrowed down a long list of priority projects at existing schools and four options for building a new school.
The School Board then voted to move forward with a pre-K through eighth grade school located on their property in Steamboat II. They also voted on the final list of projects deemed most urgent at each existing facility. District officials state the two sets of projects only work together toward the bigger goal of solving space issues. If there wasn’t a new school, the scope and cost of the priority projects would increase.
In addition to current overcrowding, one big reason district officials have expressed urgency of this project is rising construction costs.
According to Colleen Kaneda, who worked for the district’s technical engineering consultant NV5, escalation of hard costs — direct construction — from June to May 2020 was calculated to be between 10% to 12%.
The estimates for the hard costs used for new construction was between $395 to $450 per square foot, Kaneda said. Estimates for renovation came in between $100 to $250 per square foot, depending on the scope.
“Soft costs, including contingency for unforeseen conditions,” Kaneda said, “are about 30% on average of hard costs and cover the items listed as soft costs. Those items include design fees, soils reports, surveying, asbestos abatement, contingencies such as soil challenges, estimated construction cost escalation and school furniture, equipment and technology.”
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