NEWS

Council to get estimate on building new high schools

By JOHN HOWELL
Posted 7/27/23

Within a month the City Council could have another estimate of what it would cost to build new Pilgrim and Toll Gate high schools.

City Planner Tom Kravitz has hammered out an agreement with …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

E-mail
Password
Log in
NEWS

Council to get estimate on building new high schools

Posted

Within a month the City Council could have another estimate of what it would cost to build new Pilgrim and Toll Gate high schools.

City Planner Tom Kravitz has hammered out an agreement with Ellana Construction Consultants, one of three companies that do this type of work to submit a RFQ (request for qualifications) to do the job.  Ellana is to complete the cost analysis within four to six weeks at a cost not to exceed $85,000 Kravitz said last week.

The council set aside $100,000 from its budget for the study. Kravitz got Ellana to shave off $15,000 from their initial $100,000 proposal.

“This is what I was hoping for,” City Council President Steve McAllister said Friday. He said cost estimates provided by school architects Saccoccio Associates, and a review of those estimates done by a peer architectural group have been made available to Ellana. Once the analysis is complete, McAllister plans to “get it out there” so the community can see it.  He said there would be individual cost estimates for each of the schools as was done by architects when they drafted conceptual plans to replace the schools that are more than 50 years old.

The next step would be for the council to address whether to approve bond allocations to start final designs for the schools, implementation of a construction schedule, hiring of contractors and the commencement of construction. Although almost 60 percent of those casting ballots in the school bond referendum favored issuance of the $350 million bond, the council has the power to without the funding and therefore kill the project. The plan is to build the news schools on the existing Toll Gate and Pilgrim athletic fields and then demolish the existing buildings as sites for the fields.

Given legislation extending the deadline for Rhode Island State Department of Education eligibility for approved school construction projects, McAllister believes there is sufficient time for another projection of construction costs. Legislation gave municipalities an additional six months on either side of projects that previously had to be completed in five years to gain Rhode Island Department of Education reimbursement.

Thanks to a 2.5 percent increase in state funding resulting from legislative action initiated by House Speaker K. Joseph Shekarchi, Warwick is eligible to receive 55 percent reimbursement of the projected $314.6 million hard costs of building the schools.

Should costs exceed the $350 million, Mayor Frank Picozzi has said the city would not seek to make additional funding available for the schools.

council, school, building

Comments

1 comment on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here

  • Johnj22

    Please be aware of what is happening in Newport with the attempts to build a new Rogers HS. Their cost estimates are way off, and they are seeking more funding. The projected cost of the two new schools in Warwick is more likely to vastly exceed 314 million. Taxpayers beware!

    Tuesday, August 8, 2023 Report this