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Higher price tags for BCISD bond projects reflect construction costs

Burnet Middle School

Burnet CISD is feeling the pinch of rising construction costs that have pushed the price of Burnet Middle School renovations to almost $2 million more than first anticipated. Photo by Stennis Shotts

Cost of materials, labor, and inflation pushed up the final price of Burnet Middle School renovations by about $2 million, almost double its original estimate. 

In May 2021, Burnet Consolidated Independent School District voters approved a $52 million bond, which includes projects across the district to address student population growth, campus security, infrastructure, and more. 

During a special meeting Monday, April 25, the BCISD Board of Trustees approved a second guaranteed maximum price of $2.9 million for the middle school project. This is on top of a first GMP of $1.5 million for renovations approved in March.

BCISD Superintendent Keith McBurnett pointed out the March approval helped control the project’s budget due to the extended lead time for construction materials.

With both guaranteed maximum prices approved, Burnet Middle School renovations — part of the 2021 bond — come in at roughly $4.4 million, a little more than $1.9 million above the original bond projection. 

“The district will address the shortfall by utilizing cost savings from other bond projects, planned contingency funds, food service funds for kitchen/cafeteria renovations, and the district’s general-fund balance,” McBurnett stated in an email following the April 25 meeting. “This work along with all campus renovations are planned to be completed this summer.”

Increases in materials and other construction costs have definitely impacted BCISD bond projects. During a February meeting, trustees finalized the cost of Bertram Elementary School improvements, which also came in about $1.9 million over initial projected bond costs. 

In other business on Monday, the board approved spending up to $205,080 for asbestos abatement services at the middle school. 

Trustees also gave a thumbs-up to several paving projects that were included in the 2021 bond:

  • the Bulldog Stadium S curve
  • the middle school stadium parking lot
  • replacing the three-way stop at the field house
  • Bulldog Stadium Drive from the three-way stop to Third Street
  • a new field house parking lot
  • the transportation employees parking lot
  • a secondary reserve parking lot by the middle school greenhouse

The final cost for these projects came in at about $1.2 million, which was less than the original bond projections. McBurnett stated that the goal is to have these paving projects completed by summer 2022.

Visit the BCISD Bond 2021 webpage for more information on the projects, and click on the Bond Program Updates for how things are progressing. 

editor@thepicayune.com