The Vineyard Gazette – Martha’s Vineyard News

The Tisbury School project is over budget by an estimated $10 million, forcing the school’s building committee to scale back its plans for renovations and additions before bids can even be issued and work can begin. can start.

“With post-pandemic workplace shortages and [the increased] cost of goods, our estimates are significantly higher than the original plan,” construction committee chairman Michael Watts told the Gazette in an interview on Wednesday.

Previously estimated at around $42.3 million, estimates for the school’s construction and landscaping have soared to $52.4 million, Watts said.

“It’s just about building materials and labor,” he added.

The Boston-based building committee’s professional team, Tappé Architects and owner’s project manager CHA Consulting, had originally estimated the total cost of the school project – including their own design and management fees – to be approximately $53 million.

Last June, Tisbury voters overwhelmingly approved borrowing up to $55 million for the school project, with a commitment from the building committee to bring it in for less if possible.

With that hope in tatters following the latest cost projections, committee members reunited in late April to consider their options.

“The committee considered very carefully: how could we reduce costs, while respecting the educational program?” said Mr. Watts.

The steep new estimate came as Tappé’s design hit the 60% completion mark last month. Construction costs could escalate even further during the bidding process.

“We think there is no way to ask the people of Tisbury for $10 million,” Mr Watts said.

Instead, the building committee will cut about $10.3 million from the school’s design and look to the city for alternative funding, he said.

Working with Tappé and CHA, the committee identified a series of cost-cutting measures to address the projected revenue shortfall by reducing square footage, streamlining certain design elements, eliminating much of the landscaping and seeking other funding for approximately $5.4 million in window replacements. , masonry work and landscaping.

The revised landscaping plan includes cutting out a new playground (estimated at $300,000), eliminating plantings and flower beds ($168,000), and halving the number of walkways and resurfacing them with asphalt instead of concrete ($150,000), among other savings intended to cut more than $1 million from the current estimate of $4 million for earthworks.

The new gymnasium is still part of the plan, Mr Watts said.

“We need a complete abatement [of hazardous materials] anyway,” he said of the existing gym.

“There would be significant costs. . . and that’s the least energy efficient part of the building, believe it or not, the way it’s built.

But the pro team offered to save $864,000 in the new gymnasium through ‘value engineering’, which Mr Watts described as cutting costs without affecting the building’s core functions.

The additional value engineering, along with a reduction of 1,700 square feet, is intended to save more than $1 million on the school’s administrative wing.

The shrinking space would leave no room for the district’s Project Headway pre-kindergarten program, according to a slide show the pro team presented to the building committee.

The Tisbury School project is behind schedule and over budget: the modular school buildings, ordered to house classrooms and offices during the renovation, will not be ready for the start of the next school year.

In their slideshow report, the pro team blamed hardware timing issues for the delay. The project schedule now assumes a move-in period of December 24 to January 1, but notes that “earlier move-in may be possible and beneficial to [the] project and school.

More information about the project, including agendas and building committee meeting minutes, is posted online at tisbury-school-project.com.

Eleanor C. William