The new Dublin Intermediate School project is already 15 percent over budget — and they haven’t even broken ground yet.
Dublin Independent School District board members heard the phrase “dropping bombs” and the word “unfortunately” several times during Monday night’s meeting from Hahnfeld and Associates and Sedelco, firms hired to design and construct the new intermediate school.
“Next time we come it’ll be closer to where we need to be,” Eric Hahnfeld, architect, said. He said his group was working diligently to get the project back on budget.
Russ Garrison with the Sedelco Company, hired to manage the construction of the project, said prices of concrete and petroleum based products are soaring.
“We’ve seen a five percent increase since February and since July of last year another three percent,” Garrison said. “For a total of eight percent and the forecast says it will continue to rise.”
Hahnfeld said he figured a five percent inflation increase in the original budget, which in years past would have been well above the actual number, usually two or three percent or it remained flat. But there are additional costs involving sewer, water and lift stations that were not anticipated.
Superintendent Roy Neff said the increase in cost is partially due to two additional classrooms and extras that were not included in the original budget. The increase total, including other costs, amount to about $1.2 million more than the $7.9 million originally budgeted last July.
Neff said this is what happens when planning a year in advance.
Hahnfeld said his company is exploring where the elevation of the building should be to provide the most cost effective scenario.
Also, he said to minimize costs the site would be dug down to the rock that is four and half to five feet deep. The soil would be reconditioned and returned and another three feet of fill dirt brought in and the building would go on top of that. Hahnfeld said the process would allow the use of “slab on grade, which is what we want to do.”
Hahnsfeld said “alternates” would be provided to allow the numbers to creep one way or the other towards the budget. He said, “an alternate may choose X and then add X” so the district can select items it needs or wants.
Neff informed the board the Existing Debt Allotment Program usually comes in around the 53 percent range but this year the money is at 47 to 48 percent. This will make about one cent difference to the taxpayers, Neff said.
The board approved the design of the school as presented by Hahnfeld.
The companies are scheduled to report progress at every regular board meeting until the school is completed.
On Thursday evening at 7 p.m. there will be a special meeting of the Board of Trustees at the Dublin High School Library for the issuance and sale of DISD unlimited tax school building and refunding bonds.