Underestimated project costs force Missouri district to put school groundbreaking on hold

Underestimated project costs force Missouri district to put school groundbreaking on hold

Chillicothe district says its architect did not account for increased site preparation costs when a different site was chosen.

The Chillicothe (Mo.) R-2 School District has delayed construction of a new school after discovering that the cost estimates of the project were $2 million to $3 million too low.

The Chillicothe Constitution-Tribune reports that the district had hoped to break ground by Sept. 1 on a facility to house students from preschool through first grade.

But because the site selected for the school has changed—the district has chosen an area north of the high school instead of a location near the middle school—site preparation costs are significantly higher. The increase was not included in the plans developed by the district’s architect, Hollis + Miller.

“We used the number they provided us when we went out to the voters,” says Superintendent Roger Barnes.

The mistake was discovered last week when the school district opened bids. Three contractors submitted bids that ranged from $13,915,000 to $15,130,600. Bids for actual construction of the building were in line with expectations, but the site prep work was not included.

Barnes says Chillicothe will look for ways to lower the project cost without diminishing the overall quality.

Because of budget shortfall, groundbreaking for the school, it is likely to take place sometime after Oct. 1.

TAGS: Funding
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