Construction Costs

District Presses Pause on $13M in Construction Projects

The St. Clair R-XIII School District in St. Clair, Mo., announced last week that it will delay several planned construction projects due to a spike in the cost of materials. The school board voted on Thursday, June 10, to pause the wheels of construction on a bus bay ($1.644 million), a new auditorium ($11-12 million), and a pickup and drop-off loop ($340,000).

At the board meeting, members cited the example of lumber costs. A two-by-four was slated to cost $14, while members recalled the same product costing between $2 and $5 during previous, personal home renovation projects.

Other projects will continue, including the installation of a $444,000 safety vestibule in the elementary and junior high schools; and renovations at St. Clair Junior High consisting of a handicap-accessible toilet stall to a women’s restroom ($27,500); a family restroom ($28,200); and installing $3,500 in vestibule carpeting. Work will also continue on projects already in progress, including a $413,000 track and a $386,000 grandstand.

All of the above projects, both those slated to continue and those that have been delayed, were intended to be funded by a $12.75 million bond issue that voters passed in June 2020.

“I want to pause on a lot of things,” said district superintendent Dr. Kyle Kruse. “I have a hard time really wanting to pause on safety.”

According to the original terms of the bond issue agreement, the money must be spent within three years of receiving it. The bond issuer, LJ Hart & Co., has said that it will consider extending the deadline under reasonable circumstances. The school board said at its June 2 meeting that it will return to the delayed projects “in a few months” to price-check construction materials.

About the Author

Matt Jones is senior editor of Spaces4Learning. He can be reached at [email protected].