Saturday, Mar 8, 2014
Budget Issues Slow Mt. Vernon High School Construction
MT.VERNON -- Construction of the new Mt. Vernon high school has hit a snag. Contractors say the project is nearly $6 million over budget.
On Monday, school administrators and contractors met to discuss various ideas to cut costs before the project can move forward.
"There is still not enough budget to meet the square footage," said architect Chris Nesbit. "We still have a budget issue on the high school and trying to find the best
way to get something started as quick as possible."
The current school design would cost nearly $78 million which is $6 million more than what was allotted to the school board. The board must cut the cost to $72 million soon in order to have the high school completed by the July 2015 target date.
"Ideally we would have written contracts back on Dec. 12 when the bids were taken," explained Nesbit. "Every day that we are not able to write those contracts and get contractors out there it starts to push on the end date."
The board could cut costs by eliminating the football field and grandstands along with other options.
"We are looking at maybe shelling the theatre or removing it completely," said Nesbit.
Superintendent Mike Smith says those options are a possibility but no decision has been made, "We wanted to explore our options."
The board could also reopen bids on certain projects but the process may delay construction even further.
"The sense of urgency has really remained the same," explained Smith. "But we are definitely trying to get a revised construction schedule nailed down."
The Mt. Vernon High School board will discuss options during its meeting on Tuesday but will not vote on any cost cutting moves until a later date.
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