NCEF Resource List: School Construction Costs
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Information on school building costs including costs per square foot and per student, new construction and renovation cost comparisons, and cost estimating, compiled by the National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities.

References to Books and Other Media

Senate Bill 1149 Energy Surcharge: Unrealized Savings on Energy and School Utility Costs Adobe PDF
(Oregon Department of Energy, May 01, 2012)
Passed by the Oregon Legislature in 1999, Senate Bill 1149 created a 3% surcharge on electricity bills to fund energy conservation programs, renewable energy resources, low- income weatherization, and energy conservation in schools. This audit determines whether Oregon school districts have utilized energy surcharge funds to implement measures with the highest paybacks. Analysis of 6,859 energy efficiency measures from 2002-2010 found that school districts did not consistently implement the most cost-effective measures or realize the greatest energy savings. Had districts implemented the top-ranked measures instead, they could potentially have achieved almost $40 million more in anticipated district utility bill savings and gained an additional 70% energy reduction over the collective lives of the measures compared to the estimated results of those measures that were actually implemented. 19p

Green Building Square Foot Costbook
(BNi Building News in cooperation with McGraw-Hill Construction Sweets , 2012)
Comprehensive collection of recent LEED and sustainable building projects along with their square foot costs, broken down by CSI MasterFormat section and adjusted for 2012. For each building, provides a detailed narrative describing its major features and the steps taken to minimize the environmental impact — both in its construction and its operation. Includes a detailed listing of manufacturers and suppliers for each building and the specific "green" products used. Costs are clearly broken out on a cost-per-square-foot basis, along with the primary specifications and full details about the construction team. Includes schools.

Facility Needs and Costs in America's Great City Schools. Adobe PDF
Casserly, Michael; Lachlan-Hache, Jonathon; Naik, Manish
(Council of the Great City Schools, Washington, D.C. , Oct 2011)
Results of a survey of the nation's major city public school districts show substantial construction, renovation, modernization, and deferred maintenance needs because of the age and size of their buildings, and shifting populations. Results indicate that responding school districts have $15.3 billion in new construction needs; $46.7 billion in repair, renovation, and modernization needs; and $14.4 billion in deferred maintenance needs. Total facilities needs in these 50 major city public school districts amount to $76.5 billion or approximately $8.9 million per school. Includes a city-by-city chart of facility needs. 20p

PK-12 Public School Facility Infrastructure Fact Sheet. Adobe PDF
(21st Century School Fund, Washington, DC , Feb 2011)
Answers basic school facilities questions such as 1) How much PK-12 infrastructure is there? 2)What condition are our public schools in? 3)What difference does facility condition make? 4)How much does our PK-12 infrastructure cost? 5)Where does funding for PK-12 infrastructure come from? 15 references supporting the information are provided. 2p.

Database: Broward School Construction Costs 2004-09.
(Sun Sentinel, 2011)
Provides project data on more than $1 billion spent on 144 major school projects, such as classroom additions and new schools. The database can be searched by school name, contractor or year.

Life Cycle Cost Guidelines for Materials and Building Systems for Florida's Public Educational Facilities, 2010. Adobe PDF
(University of Florida, Gainesville , Jun 30, 2010)
Provides an evaluation of current and emerging materials, products, and systems for application to the construction of educational facilities in Florida, based on a wide range of cost and performance criteria. Current data regarding first cost, operation and maintenance (O&M) costs, and replacement costs were used in the life cycle evaluation of the materials, products, and systems. The ratings for each material, product, or system are indicated using a matrix of systems versus criteria for ranking the systems. Each material, product, or system typically or potentially used for educational facilities has been evaluated with respect to life cycle and other performance criteria. 242p.

2010 Special Sector Study on Education Construction.
(McGraw-Hill, New York, Ny, 2010)
Advises on how to better understand and more effectively pursue opportunities in the $50 billion educational facilities construction market. The study delivers analysis and extensive data, in development for more than a year. It offers full analysis of construction spending and outlook for primary/junior High Schools, senior high schools, and higher education construction. Also addressed is the impact of the recession on school construction and long term drives for the sector, green building trends and incentives to sustainable construction, and notable projects and key players. This report is available for $3,900, or for $2,500 for current subscribers to MHC Analytics services.
TO ORDER: 800-591-4462

Building to LEED for New Construction, 2nd Ed.
(Associated General Contractors of America, Arlington, VA, 2010)
Provides an overview of green building and an in-depth look at the contractor's role on a LEED v3 project, focusing on the information contractors need to know to effectively and efficiently build green buildings. The book advises on how to define the role of buildings and their impact on the environment, identify the major changes in LEED for New Construction, from LEED v2.2 to LEED 2009, differentiate the credit categories in the LEED for New Construction rating system, discuss the credits and prerequisites in LEED 2009 for New Construction and their impact on construction practices, and develop strategies specifically focused on the contractor's role in supporting green building design and construction on a project seeking certification under LEED v3.
TO ORDER: Associated General Contractors of America, 2300 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 400, Arlington, VA 22201; Tel: 800-242-1767

Clark County School District. 1998 Bond Accomplishment. A Report to the Community. Adobe PDF
(Clark County School District, 2010)
Details Nevada's Clark County School District's accomplishment from 1998 through 2010 in completing the construction of 101 new schools, delivering 11 replacement schools not included in the initial program, and completing more than $1.6 billion worth of school improvements. 8p

RSMeans Square Foot Cost Estimates by Project Type.
(Reed Construction Data, 2010)
Provides the ability to quickly calculate an estimated value of total project cost localized to a selected area. The calculations include add-on costs for Architectural Fees & Contractor's Overhead & Profit. Includes quick cost estimates for the following building types: College Classrooms; College Dormitory; College Laboratory; College, Student Union; Elementary School; High School; Jr High School; Vocational School.

Cross-Sector and Multi-Institutional Assessments Study on School Construction Costs in Yemen. Adobe PDF
Doehring, Constantin
(Comportements and Authors, Lausanne, Switzerland , 2010)
This study attempts to identify solutions for school construction which are the most suitable in terms of educational requirements and cost effectiveness, including maintenance, on the basis of a cross-sector and multi-institutional assessment. It will serve as a basis for issuing new national regulations with regard to the procedures and designs applied in school construction in Yemen. The study shows that the technical sector has an overall potential for cost reductions of up to 25% compared to current practices, combining a series of short-term improvements with a set of long-term capacity building measures. Moreover, capacity building within the implementing agencies and better coordination and cooperation between them through improved standards and unified regulations can lead to further cost reductions of more than 10% based on the current costs, given a generally positive attitude towards reform 8p.

School Building in Developing Countries: The Value of Site-specific Designs. Adobe PDF
Knapp, Eberhard
(Comportements and Authors, Lausanne, Switzerland , 2010)
Discusses the advantages of standardized school designs, but notes that construction costs are not saved, as significant site work may be necessary when matching a standard design onto a site, as well as modifications to the design to accommodate climate. 13p.

Measuring the Cost of Project Labor Agreements on School Construction in California. Adobe PDF
Vasquez, Vince; Glase, Dale; Bruvold W. Erik
(National University system Insitute for Policy Research, La Jolla, CA , 2010)
Demonstrates how school construction in California costs 13 percent to 15 percent more when project labor agreements are implemented. The study examined 551 construction projects in 180 California school districts between 1996 and 2008. Researchers compared 65 school projects operating under project labor agreements with 65 similar projects that were not, and found that PLA projects cost $28.90 to $32.49 more per square foot. 32p.

RS Means' Dollars-per-Square-Foot Construction Costs: Four Types of Educational Facilities.
Carrick, Alex
(Reed Construction Data, New York, NY , Sep 18, 2009)
Reports on dollar-per-square-foot construction costs for 25 major cities and for four types of educational facilities. Among the four categories of schools shown in the table and graphs, it is most expensive to build a junior high school. The second-most expensive is an elementary school. Third spot goes to a high school. In last position, but really not that much less expensive to build than the other categories, is a vocational school. While ranked here, there is no huge difference in the square-foot cost of construction of the four school types. 3p.

Prevailing Wage Law--An Understanding of The Davis-Bacon Act.
Goodwin, Van
(Lorman Education, Milwaukee, WI, 2009)
This webinar provides information to understand the specific requirements of the Davis-Bacon Act, when it applies, and the process necessary to ensure compliance and avoid enforcement actions and potential penalties. Recently enacted federal legislation and executive orders issued by the Obama Administration involving the use of federal stimulus monies will also result in additional prevailing wage compliance requirements and increased enforcement by the federal government. Federal public works contractors often do not understand the requirements for complying with the Davis-Bacon Act when bidding on and performing federal public works contracts and the consequences of noncompliance. Failure to comply with the Davis-Bacon Act can have dire consequences, including debarment and the loss of a major source of business, in addition to the exposure to substantial damages and attorneys’ fees.

Greening Our Built World: Costs, Benefits, and Strategies.
Kats, Greg
(Island Press, Washington, DC , 2009)
Reports the results of a large-scale study based on extensive financial and technical analyses of more than 150 green buildings in the United States and ten other countries. Using modeling techniques, the study analyzes the costs and financial benefits of building green on both large and small scales, and addresses the role of the built environment in reducing carbon dioxide emissions. The author reports that green buildings cost roughly 2 per cent more to build than conventional buildings - far less than previously assumed - and provide a wide range of financial, health, and social benefits. In addition, green buildings reduce energy use by an average of 33 per cent. The book also evaluates the cost-effectiveness of "green community development." 280p.

The Key Role of Construction in Each State's Economy.
Simonson, Ken
(Associated General Contractors of America, Dec 12, 2008)
AGC has compiled economic data which estimates the impact of $1 billion of construction spending on a state's economy. Fact sheets on each state are downloadable and include data on the economic impact of stimulus investment; construction employment; nonresidential construction; and construction industry pay. A state-by-state table of stimulus impact is provided, as well as a list of data sources and a description of the methodology used in estimating construction outlays and economic impact.

The Complex and Multi-Faceted Nature of School Construction Costs: Factors Affecting California. Adobe PDF
Jeffrey M. Vincent and Deborah McKoy
(Ameriacn Institute of Architects, California Council, Sacramento , Jun 2008)
Addresses the void in understanding school construction costs by addressing the factors affecting school construction costs in California, and in what ways these factors compare nationally and in other states. Interviews, focus groups, and policy and statistical analysis are used to compare California and seven comparison states. Findings illustrate the complexity and inconsistency of school construction cost reporting, the need for more systematic school construction cost data collection, and a general lack of systematic research on the subject. 68p.

2009 ENR/DCR Square-Foot Costbook.
(McGraw-Hill, New York, NY, 2008)
Presents square-foot construction costs based on a wide variety of actual construction projects. Costs are presented in the context of actual conditions such as special requirements, historic district settings, work-arounds, and budget constraints. Also included are regional cost modifiers illustrating differences in labor and equipment rates in over 200 metropolitan areas, a case study for each project type, breakout of costs into Masterformat divisions, illustrations, and historic trends in the cost of key materials along with overall construction inflation rates. 190

Architect's Square Foot Costbook.
(McGraw-Hill, New York, NY, 2008)
Details square-foot costs for a variety of educational projects incorporating lighting and heating innovations that meet LEED criteria. Many of these projects also reflect sustainable design concepts such as the utilization of regional resources, as well as the use of recycled and renewable materials. The volume also includes unit-in-place costs and regional cost adjustment factors.

Program Progress Update.[Cleveland] Adobe PDF
(Bond Accountability Commission, Cleveland Board of Education, OH , Aug 13, 2007)
Reviews the behind schedule state of school construction under Cleveland's current bond issue. Efforts to catch up include elimination of some project from the original program. A short glossary of construction management terms is followed by reports for each of nine segments of the master plan. Good budget performance in some segments will offset poor performance in others. 14p.

The Cost of Green Revisited. Adobe PDF
(Davis Langdon, San Francisco, CA , Jul 2007)
Considers the cost of incorporating sustainable design features into projects, building on the work undertaken in the earlier paper "Costing Green: A Comprehensive Cost Database and Budget Methodology" (2004). This 2007 report looks at developments that have occurred over the past three years, as sustainable design has become more widely accepted and used. The report indicates no significant difference in average costs for green buildings as compared to non-green buildings. In many areas of the country, the contracting community has embraced sustainable design, and no longer sees sustainable design requirements as additional burdens to be priced in their bids. Data from this study shows that many projects are achieving certification through pursuit of the same lower cost strategies, and that more advanced, or more expensive strategies are often avoided. Most notably, few projects attempt to reach higher levels of energy reduction beyond what is required by local ordinances, or beyond what can be achieved with a minimum of cost impact. 25p.

2006 School Construction Annual Report. Adobe PDF
(Indiana Dept. of Local Government Finance, Indianapolis , May 2007)
Compares the sizes and costs of Indiana school building projects to national costs and sizes for 2005 and 2006, revealing that Indiana's costs decreased, even though the volume of projects remained nearly static. Tables illustrate the state's new construction and additions costs and costs per square foot for elementary, middle, and high schools, as well as comparing these costs to national averages. 9p.

A Report on the High Cost of Construction for K-12 Schools and Community Colleges in California by an Interdisciplinary Ad-Hoc Roundtable.
(Parssons, Inc., Pasadena, CA , 2007)
Presents the findings of a group of representatives from California's governmental, educational, legal, design, and construction communities recently detailing why construction costs are so high for kindergarten through twelfth grade (K-12) educational facilities and community colleges in California. Reasons for these high costs including economic conditions, competitive construction market conditions, increases in the number and complexity of designs, seismic requirements, and legal restrictions for project delivery and contracting processes. The report also identifies initiatives to lower costs without sacrificing public and educational objectives, including broadening the choices for project delivery and contracting, as well as collaboration to standardize design and construction. 27p.

Construction Cost Analysis: Wake County, NC. Adobe PDF
(Wake County Government, Raleigh, NC , Jan 2007)
Presents an evaluation of school construction costs in Wake County, North Carolina, by comparing them to those from three other North Carolina districts and to those in four districts with comparable population growth and demographics in other states. The report focuses on school design criteria, construction management, and delivery methods, examining specific cost components of site development, building materials, and building systems while comparing facility model square footages and programmatic components. The data gathered from the comparison districts was normalized through time and location indexes in order to provide the comparisons from one school district to the next. 69p.

Do Project Labor Agreements Raise Construction Costs?
Bachman, Paul; Haughton, Jonathan
(Suffolk University, Beacon Hill Institute, Boston, MA , Jan 2007)
Measures the cost effect of PLA's using data on construction costs for 126 schools in Massachusetts between 1995 and 2003. The regression results show that PLAs raise the cost of school building by between $12 and $20 per square foot, or by between 9 and 15% of total costs. This is in line with anecdotal evidence on the PLA effect. However, a study by Belman et al. (2005), using fewer (70) observations but a fuller econometric specification, found no statistically significant PLA effect. The authors argue this imprecision is due to the small sample, and propose that in this case the larger sample with fewer variables is more revealing than a smaller sample with more variables. 9p.

50 Green Strategies that Cost Less. Adobe PDF
Nicklas, Mike
(Innovative Design, Raleigh, NC , 2007)
Compilation of a list of 50 sustainable design strategies for school projects that are cost-effective, including overall concepts, community, site design, daylighting and windows, building shell, electrical systems, mechanical systems, recycling and environmentally-sound materials. 6p.

Green Buildings and the Bottom Line.
(Reed Business Information, Oak Brook, IL , Nov 2006)
Examines financial considerations of "green" building across many building types, with one chapter each devoted to the practice in higher and K-12 education. Current attention to and financial advantages of green building in education are considered, as are obstacles and ways to overcome them. 62p.

Greening America's Schools: Costs and Benefits.
Kats, Gregory
(Capital E, Washington, DC , Oct 2006)
Based on a study of 30 "green" schools, this reports reveals that building "green" would save an average school $100,000 each year - enough to hire two new additional full-time teachers. The report demonstrates that green schools (schools designed to be energy efficient, healthy and environmentally friendly) are also extremely cost-effective. Total financial benefits from green schools outweigh the costs 20 to 1. With over $35 billion dollars projected to be spent in 2007 on K-12 construction, the conclusions of this report have far-reaching implications for future school design. The report's methodology is detailed, numerous tables illustrate the data, and 89 references are included. 23p.

2005 Indiana School Construction Annual Report. Adobe PDF
(Indiana Dept. of Local Government Finances, Indianapolis , 2006)
Compares the sizes and costs of Indiana school building projects to national costs and sizes for 2004 and 2005, revealing that Indiana's costs were 40.4 percent higher than the national average in 2005. The report also examines the statewide impact of school construction debt on taxpayers and analyzes the types of school construction and distribution of construction costs. 12p.

Dekalb County School System SPLOST II Forensic Program Review: Preliminary Report of Findings and Recommendations.
(Dekalb County School System, Decatur, GA , Jun 2006)
Presents the results of an audit of the County's school construction program that offered 11 major conclusions in regard to program management and oversight by the school system administration and board of education. The auditors reviewed in particular detail perceived problems including an understated needs assessment, approval of projects for which there was inadequate budget, performance by the program manager under its contract, and a school system policy of allocating to each school cluster 40 percent of its 10-year assessed needs and allowing it to decide how to use the funds. The report also provides 19 recommendations relating to policies, processes, contracting, staffing, systems, communications and best practices. 75p.

Project Labor Agreements and Public Construction Costs in New York State. Adobe PDF
(Suffolk University, Beacon Hill Institute, Boston, MA , Apr 2006)
Based on findings in a sample of 117 schools in New York, it was found that the presence of a PLA increases a project's base construction bids in that state by $27 per square foot (in 2004 prices) relative to non-PLA projects. The figure was obtained after adjusting the data for inflation, using an index that includes the trend in both construction wages and in materials costs, and differences in construction costs between the 68 counties in New York, using the regional cost factors from the New York State Education Department's Facilities Planning Office. Findings show that the potential savings from not entering into a PLA on a school construction project range from $2.7 million for a 100,000- square-foot structure to $8.1 million for a 300,000-square-foot structure. Given ongoing budget constraints and the uncertainties of revenue forecasts, the report recommends that New York policymakers and taxpayers should carefully consider these substantial additional costs when determining whether PLA's are best for school construction projects in their towns or school districts. 18p.

A Review of the School Facilities Construction Commission. [Kentucky] Adobe PDF
(Kentucky Legislative Research Commission, Frankfort , Feb 10, 2006)
Analyzes the impact of Kentucky's School Facilities Construction Commission (SFCC) and other facility funding programs in the state. The study includes a review of school district facility needs assessment procedures, methods of calculating construction and renovation costs, and opinions of school superintendents and others of the SFCC and facility funding in Kentucky. Numerous figures illustrate levels of school facility funding, school condition ranking, per-pupil revenue, and costs per square foot. 131p.

Building Community: A Post-Occupancy Look at the Maryvale Mall Adaptive Reuse Project. Adobe PDF
Reagan, Lisa; Smith, Molly; Warner, Elisa
(Council of Educational Facility Planners International, Scottsdale, AZ , Feb 2006)
Describes the conversion of Phoenix's vacant 1950's-era Maryvale Mall into an elementary and middle school. The project yielded a construction cost of $65 per square foot, and the new schools, along with the community services they housed, helped spur an urban renewal of the depressed Maryvale neighborhood 6p.

Necessity of School Construction.[Rhode Island]
(Rhode Island Dept. of Education, Providence , 2006)
Presents the Rhode Island Department of Education's guidelines for preparing the "necessity of construction" application, which is the process by which local districts request state reimbursement for school construction and certify that projects are necessary. The four sections of the document require the district to summarize the project, describe the planning activities that went into it, detail the physical project, and justify the project. Appendices offer advice on moving smart school goals forward, with guidelines for planned enrollments, new buildings, site selection, square footage, cost per square foot, and a sample capital improvement program. 21p.

Stewardship and Accountability in Campus Planning, Design and Construction
Guckert, Donald, ed.
(APPA, Alexandria, VA , 2006)
Offers advice from twelve facilities experts to help enhance stewardship of campus facilities design and construction. Topics covered include the high cost of building a better university, design decisions and the campus image, facilities master plans, building codes, making a business case for sustainability, paying for the architect's mistakes, green building design, and design decision- making for total cost of ownership. 105p.
TO ORDER: APPA, 1643 Prince St., Alexandria, VA 22314-2818; Tel: 703-684-1446

Construction Budget Management.
Lingensjo, Richard
(Richard Lingensjo , 2006)
Discusses controlling the budget as the essence of construction management, with particular attention to school construction projects. Once every activity, material, and risk is quantified into a dollar amount, tracking financial expenditures is the primary function of those in authority. The focus is school building construction, however, for a complete analysis the industry should not be viewed in a vacuum. Therefore, the social environment, such as illegal aliens, teachers unions, and whistle blowers are topics. 302p.

The Incremental Costs and Benefits of Green Schools in Massachusetts. Adobe PDF
(Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, Westborough , Dec 2005)
This study of eight school projects revealed that total features that enhanced sustainability added from 1.83% to 5.06% to project cost, with an average of 3.19%. However, significant incentives from utility companies and the state department of energy lowered that figure to -.5% to 3.33%, with an average of 2.38%. When the life cycle of the buildings were included, the average benefit of sustainability features was nearly eight times initial costs. Energy savings above code requirements ranged from 22.82% to 35.12%, with an average of 30/12%. 56p.

Widespread Materials Inflation Demands Industry Attention. Adobe PDF
Simonson, Ken
(Associated General Contractors Construction Inflation Alert, Dec 2005)
This paper compares two common inflation measures, the consumer price index for all urban consumers (CPI-U) and the producer price index (PPI) for finished goods, against a variety of PPIs for construction materials and groupings of materials. Many key categories such as diesel fuel, gypsum products, and copper and brass have seen double-digit price increases in 2004 and 2005. The global building boom strained supplies of key construction components and may continue to produce large increases in demand for a wide variety of building components in the future. Conditions such as hurricanes and regulations on trucking also impact construction activities.

National Review of Green Schools: Costs, Benefits, and Implications for Massachusetts. Adobe PDF
Kats, Greg; Perlman, Jeff; Jamadagni, Sachin
(Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, Westborough , Nov 2005)
Documents the financial costs and benefits of "green" schools compared to conventional schools, with specific reference to Massachusetts. This review of 20 schools nationwide demonstrates that "green" schools cost 1.5 to 2.5% more to build, but provide financial benefits that are 10 to 20 times as large. Individual sections discuss energy savings, emission reduction, water and wastewater impacts, construction and demolition waste, and health and learning benefits. 72p.

The Development of a Model Design-build Specification Document for Educational Facilities Construction Projects.
Bavi, Reza
(Doctoral Dissertation, Wilmington College, Delaware , Jul 2005)
Proposes a design-build process for schools, in order to have a more efficient and cost effective plan when designing construction projects for new buildings and renovations. The first stage of the development phase included identification of ideas, techniques, and recommendations as well as resources, personnel and strategies determined to be effective in this study. Once these factors were determined, a committee structure was designed. The second stage of the development phase was to select a joint planning committee which represented eight areas of construction projects. The structure identified in this project included setting up a schedule of four meetings. The first meeting introduced the concept. The second meeting introduced the design- build document and evaluation questions. The third meeting discussed the document and the fourth meeting included acceptance of the document. The final stage was field testing of the model by the local community college on three different construction projects. The results of field-testing the design-build construction specification model for three projects were successful and construction was completed on schedule. The college saved a significant amount of money on all projects by using the design-build specification. 106p.
Report NO: 3189965


Construction Costs.
(Georgia Dept. of Education, Facilities Services Unit, Atlanta , Jul 2005)
Provides school construction cost guidance for the State of Georgia. The estimates include square foot costs for new elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools, with breakout figures for classrooms, media and labortory rooms, and physical education facilities. Costs for administrative areas, kitchens, cafeterias, and restrooms are included as a single set of figures, regardless of school type. Also included are guidance on renovation and major modification costs. Maximum architect fees and contingencies are supplied for each category of construction. 4p.

Managing Your Environmental Responsibilities: A Planning Guide for Construction and Development. Adobe PDF
(United States Environmental Protection Agency, Washington , Apr 2005)
Provides guidance for federal environmental requirements in construction and development process, with advice on how to recognize the federal environmental requirements and factor in the associated expenses for the project, designate the responsible party to fulfill these requirements, file the necessary paperwork, perform the required activities, obtain the essential permits and identify additional sources of information to help implement these requirements throughout your project. Part one of the guide presents background information on environmental requirements for the construction and development industries, with a checklist to help assign environmental responsibilities. Part two contains seven self-audit checklists that help construction companies evaluate their compliance status in these seven areas once the project has commenced. 255p.
Report NO: EPA/305-B-05-003

Prevailing Wage Rates in Minnesota: An Examination of Alternative Calculation Methods and Their Effects on Public Construction Wages. Adobe PDF
(Minnesota Taxpayers Association, St. Paul , Feb 2005)
Reports that the state's method for calculating prevailing wage rates on public construction increased project costs between 7 and 10 percent. Currently, the state of Minnesota uses a "modal" calculation, where the rate that is most frequently reported in a survey is designated as the "prevailing" wage. According to the study, Minnesota's modal method of calculating the prevailing wage rate increases the likelihood that large-scale, collectively bargained wage rates become the prevailing wage, because these rates tend to be uniform within a specific job class. The study found that in 26 of the 32 counties where state building projects were located, federal prevailing wage rates were set entirely from union rates. MTA examined 34 school district construction projects, 57 state building projects and 247 state transportation projects, with total project costs of more than $1.7 billion, concluding that "Minnesota would have experienced estimated savings of $126 million to $171 million of total project costs in 2002 if the state had substituted median wage rates for current state prevailing wage rates." 39p.

FMI K-12 Public School Construction Management.
(FMI, Raleigh, NC , 2005)
Presents the results of a survey of the largest 500 school systems in the U.S. that discusses top issues in construction management, trends in school construction, master planning practices, funding, project management practices, commissioning, prototype schools, and sustainability. 26p.
TO ORDER: Contact Phil Warner at, Tel: 919-785-9357

Means Facilities Construction Cost Data 2005 Book, 20th Edition
(R.S. Means. Reed Construction Data. , 2005)
This book is devoted specifically to the needs of professionals responsible for the maintenance, construction and renovation of commercial, industrial, municipal, and institutional properties. This reference provides immediate access to costs associated with facilities construction and renovation, plus many common maintenance items, with more than 40,000 unit price line items. 1,200p.
TO ORDER: R.S. Means

State of Indiana School Construction Annual Report 2003-2004. Adobe PDF
(State of Indiana, Department of Local Government Finance, Indianapolis , 2005)
Compares the sizes and costs of Indiana school building projects to national costs and sizes, examines the statewide impact of school construction debt on taxpayers, presents historical data on Indiana school construction, and establishes benchmarks for local officials to use in guiding their own projects. The data is divided into figures for new buildings, additions, and renovations. 9p.

Ending School Overcrowding in California: Building Quality Schools for All Children. Adobe PDF
Colmenar, Raymond; Estrada, Francisco; Lo, Theresa; Raya, Richard
(PolicyLink, Oakland,CA , 2005)
Reports that the state currently targets school construction funds for anticipated growth districts, but not to relieve overcrowding. Even though the 2002 Critically Overcrowded Schools (COS) represents progress, the report maintains that districts contending with fiscal and administrative restraints are at a disadvantage in competing for the funds. The report defines the problem of overcrowded schools, explains the funding gap, cites barriers to addressing school overcrowding, and makes recommendations for removing them. 24p.

Curbing Construction Costs Through Value Engineering.
Dunlap, Chris
(, Orange, CA , 2005)
Discusses the makeup and qualifications of members of a value engineering team for school construction. A construction manager is recommended, and his/her qualifications and duties detailed. Also recommended is the use of in-house maintenance staff to execute small changes to the plans, rather than submitting change orders with the contractor. 3p.

Dollars and Sense II: Lessons from Good, Cost-Effective Small Schools. Adobe PDF
Lawrence, B; Abramson, P.; Bergsagel, V.; Bingler, S.; Diamond, B.; Greene, T.; Hill, B.; Howley, C.; Stephen, D.; Washor, E.
(KnowledgeWorks Foundation, Cincinnati, OH , 2005)
Argues for small schools in three ways. First, analysis of more than three thousand construction projects shows that smaller schools are no more expensive to build than much larger schools. Second, analysis of the budgets of 25 good small schools throughout the United States demonstrates that on average they spend less per student on educational program, maintenance and operations than the per-pupil expenditure in their districts, yet they achieve results that are equal to or better than schools in the same area. Third, these schools offer innovative and effective educational programs, facilities, and strategies for cost effectiveness that can serve as models to people interested in cost-effective good small schools. Appendices contain contact information, budgets, test scores, a strategies grid, a list of criteria for school selection, and 30 references. The accompanying website supplements the written report, and contains many documents from the schools and links to additional resources. 66p.

The Non-Architect's Guide to Major Capital Projects: Planning, Designing, and Delivering New Buildings.
Waite, Phillip
(Society for College and University Planning, Ann Arbor, MI , 2005)
Introduces the steps and sequence of planning, designing, and delivering a capital project. The six stages of the project delivery process (planning or pre-design, schematic design, design development, construction documents, construction administration, and occupancy) are covered in order, with emphasis on the pre-design phase, where non-architects are the most involved. A glossary is included, as are appendices which explain how to interpret architectural drawings, suggest further reading, and categorize design services. Includes 30 references. 128p.

Project Labor Agreements and the Cost of Public School Construction in Connecticut. Adobe PDF
Bachman, Paul; Haughton, Jonathan; Tuerck, David
(Beacon Hill Institute, Boston, MA , Sep 2004)
Presents the results of a study of Connecticut school construction projects from 1996-2002, showing how these agreements that mandate union labor added almost 18%, or $30 per square foot, to project costs. The history, current regional and national use, and pros and cons of PLA's are covered, as is the research methodology and 33 references. 18p.

Costing Green: A Comprehensive Cost Database and Budgeting Methodology.
Adamson, Davis; Matthiessen, Lisa; Morris, Peter
(David Langdon Adamson, Sacramento, CA , Jul 2004)
Uses data on building costs to compare the cost of constructing green buildings with buildings housing comparable programs, but do not have sustainable goals. Costs for different specific measures and technologies are compared, and a budgeting methodology that provides guidelines for developing appropriate budgets to meet the building program goals and include sustainability are presented. Includes cost analysis of academic buildings, laboratory buildings, and library buildings 27p.

National Spending on Capital Outlay. Spending on Capital Outlay and Interest on School Debt: 1919 to 2000 (Local, State and Federal)
(Education Commission of the States. Data from the Digest of Education Statistics 2002, published by the National Center for Education Statistics, 2003. , Feb 2004)
This table illustrates the breakdown of total capital outlay spending for education facilities from 1919 to 2000. It includes figures on: 1) Capital Outlay; 2) Interest on School Debt; 3) Capital Outlay as a % of total education spending; 4) Interest on School Debt as a % of total education spending; and 5) Capital Outlay & Interest as a % of total education spending.

School Construction Handbook.
(Pennsylvania School Boards Association, Mechanicsburg , 2004)
Advises school board members on a variety of school condition and construction issues, including the impact of facilities on student achievement, how to get started with capital improvements, new construction versus renovation, project management, selecting design professionals, key components of school design, "green" construction, financing, and typical legal problems of school construction. 186p.

The Effect of Project Labor Agreements on the Cost of School Construction. Adobe PDF
Belman, Dale; Ormiston, Russell; Schriver, William; Kelso, Richard
(Industry Studies Association Working Papers , Jan 2004)
Investigates the impact of project labor agreements on school construction cost in New England. In contrast to prior research, which applied very leanly specified cost models to secondary data, this study explores more sophisticated models using a rich data set on school characteristics collected by the authors to control for the increased complexity inherent in PLA-built schools. The results indicate that while simple models exhibit large positive PLA effects, such effects are lacking in more complete models. The results suggest that the PLA coefficients in simple models are capturing the increased complexity, and cost, of school projects built under PLA's. 32p.

School Maintenance and Renovation: Administrator Policies, Practices, and Economics.
Earthman, Glen; LeMasters, Linda
(Proactive Publications, Lancaster, PA , 2004)
Written for decision-makers in school buildings, district offices, and boards, this book outlines the major aspects of school maintenance and renovation, with a focus on cost-effectiveness. Chapters include: 1) How Schools are Funded; 2) Organization of Maintenance, Engineering, and Operations Staff; 3) School Board Policies for Maintenance and Operations; 4) Administrative Process--The Paper Chase; 5) Capital Improvement and Maintenance Planning; 6) Cost Maintenance; 7) Deferred and Preventive Maintenance; 8) Emerging Role of Technology; 9) Contract Maintenance--External Management Service; 10) Regulatory Aspects of Maintenance and Operations; 11) Cost-Effective Procurement Processes; 12) Deciding to Renovate; 13) Planning the Educational Program; 14) Selection of the Architect; 15) What the Architects Does; 16) Renovation Funding; 17) Alternative Funding Plans; 18) Bidding and Contractor Selection; 19) School Operating During a Renovation; 20) Bringing Closure to the Project; and 21) The Price of a Good Education. 200p.
TO ORDER: ProActive Publications, 1148 Elizabeth Avenue #2, Lancaster, PA 17601.

Are You Building a School or a Liability? A Guide to Using Total Masonry Construction in Public Schools.
Huckabee, Christopher
(National Concrete Masonry Association, Herndon, VA , 2004)
Explains the value of total masonry construction in K-12 schools for the purpose of reduced life-cycle costs, safety, and mold resistance. A discussion of the importance of the building envelope, testimonials, a comparison of total masonry and tilt-up construction, and an explanation of the systems, costs, and properties of total masonry construction are provided. 58p.
TO ORDER: Mason Contractors Association of America, 33 S. Roselle Rd., Schaumburg, IL 60193; Tel: 800-536-2225.

Building & Renovating Schools: Design, Construction Management, Cost Control.
Macaluso, Joseph; Lewek, David; Murphy, Brian
(R.S. Means, Kingston, MA , 2004)
Covers the building and renovating process from initial planning, needs assessment and design through move-in. The “Planning and Design” section features guidelines for developing planning documents and selection of the design team, green design standards and technologies, integrating computer and building automation technology, security equipment and design approaches and cost issues, and the special design considerations of specialty spaces. “The Construction Process” section covers estimating and monitoring project costs, the role of a project manager and project team, and construction contracts and schedules. Also included are case studies of recently completed school projects, square foot cost models for elementary, middle, and high school facilities with costs for individual building components such as classrooms, auditoriums, labs, administration areas, gyms, libraries, and swimming pools. 412p.
TO ORDER: Reed Construction Data, 63 Smiths Lane, Kingston, MA 02364-0800, Tel: 781-422-5000

Hard Lessons: Causes and Consequences of Michigan's School Construction Boom.
McClelland, Mac; Schneider, Keith
(Michigan Land Use Institute, Beulah, MI , 2004)
This provides a detailed review of how school construction decisions — whether to renovate existing buildings or build new, greenfield facilities — are made in Michigan and their effect on development patterns. The report aims to help school officials, community leaders, homeowners, and parents evaluate the full cost of new school construction or renovation. It recommends changes in state policy that, if implemented, will capture the economic and cultural benefits of renovating older schools or building new ones in town. 20p.

The Costs and Financial Benefits of Green Buildings. Adobe PDF
Kats, Greg
(California Integrated Waste Management Board, Sacramento , Oct 2003)
Presents a detailed analysis of costs and financial benefits of environmentally sensitive building design and occupancy practices. The study concludes that an upfront investment of about two percent of construction costs typically yields life cycle savings of over ten times the initial investment. Topics covered include reduced energy and water use, less waste, lower operations and maintenance costs, and increased occupant health and productivity. (Includes 20 annotated references.) 120p.

Project Labor Agreements and the Cost of Public School Construction in Massachusetts. Adobe PDF
Bachman, Paul; Chisholm, Darlene; Haughton, Jonathan; Tuerck, David
(Suffoluk University, Beacon Hill Institute, Boston, MA , Sep 2003)
Discusses research indicating that agreements binding construction clients into union contracts added$18.83 to the bid cost and $16.51 to the actual per square foot construction cost in the Boston area in 2001. Historical backgrounds, justifications for, and state and federal treatments of project labor agreements are included. 14p.

Ten Ways to Help Avoid Legal Problems in School Construction. Adobe PDF
Kelin, Howard L.
(National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities, Washington, DC. , Sep 2003)
This publication recommends that school districts include a legal plan in every school construction project. The author discusses negotiating agreements with the project architect and construction manager early on; exercising due diligence in selecting the project team; determining proper levels of professional liability insurance; clarifying legal issues with the architect and the construction manager; predetermining methods of dispute resolution; reviewing non-technical contract provisions in bid packages; developing surety bonds for bid packages; and exercising care in handling non-responsible bidders, bid errors, and contractor disputes. The publication concludes that properly applying these measures can significantly increase the chances of completing a school construction project on time, within budget, and without litigation. 8p.

Effects of Energy Needs and Expenditures on U.S. Public Schools. Statistical Analysis Report. Adobe PDF
Smith, Timothy; Porch, Rebecca; Farris, Elizabeth; Fowler, William
(U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Washington, D.C. , May 2003)
This report provides national estimates on energy needs and expenditures of U.S. public school districts. The survey provides estimates of Fiscal Year (FY) 2000 energy expenditures, FY 2001 energy budgets and expenditures, and FY 2002 energy budgets; methods used to cover energy budget shortfalls in FY 2001; and possible reasons for those shortfalls. The survey also explored the cost-saving measures that school districts took in FY 2000, FY 2001, and FY 2002. Finally, the survey examined the extent to which the chief financial officer of the school district (or other district respondent) perceived the school district succeeded in reducing energy usage and cost per unit. The nationally representative sample of approximately 1,000 regular school districts was selected from the 1999–2000 Common Core of Data Local Education Agency Universe file. 87p.
Report NO: NCES-2003-018

Special Sector Study: Education--The New Heights of Education Construction.
(McGraw-Hill Construction, Lexington, MA, Apr 2003)
This study analyzes the K-12 and higher education construction markets, which made up 18% of the nonresidential construction market in 2002. Information is organized by school type, state/region, and type of construction (new/remodeling). Contact information for owners, architects, contractors and approximately 6,000 education facility managers is provided. Also provided are historical activity levels and projected growth rates for the respective market sectors. [Price: $8,000]
TO ORDER: McGraw-Hill Construction Dodge, Dodge Analytics, 24 Hartwell Ave., Lexington, MA 02421, 800-591-4462.

Best Practices Report: A Sampling of Best Practices and Resources of School Facility Construction. Adobe PDF
(California Office of Public School Construction, Sacramento , Mar 2003)
Reviews useful documents from the California Office of Public School Construction and several "feature projects" that illustrate recent school facility planning ideas and design solutions approved by the Division of the State Architect and the California Department of Education. Examples of prototype school plans, developer-built schools, and design-built schools are highlighted. 59p.

School Construction Guide.
(Associated General Contractors of America, Alexandria, VA , 2003)
This guide is intended to help those involved in school construction to better understand the process to ensure the project is successful for everyone. Eight sections walk the reader through the school construction process from project planning to project turnover. The Guide covers site selection, funding alternatives, design, and construction. It explains the roles of the participants, various methods of project delivery, and highlights the unique nature of school construction. 110p.
Report NO: 2913

Analysis of Regression and Surveys in Ohio LSC Report on S.B. 102 on Claimed Cost Savings from Exempting School Construction from Prevailing Wage Requirements. Adobe PDF
Weisberg, Herbert
(National Alliance for Fair Contracting, Washington, DC , Jul 08, 2002)
Analyzes claimed cost savings from exempting Ohio school construction projects from prevailing wage requirements. While the state claimed significant savings, this report indicates that the state's regression analysis was flawed, and that no significant cost savings were realized. Includes eight references. 14p.

A Study of the Effects of the Exemption of School Construction Projects from Ohio's Prevailing Wage Law. Adobe PDF
Lundell, Allan
(Ohio Legislative Service Commission, Columbus , May 20, 2002)
Reports on a five-year study of the effects of exempting school construction and renovation projects from the state's prevailing wage law. The study found indications of $487.9 million in aggregate savings, an overall savings of 10.7 percent. Evidence was not available as to the portion of the estimated savings, if any, that could be directly and conclusively attributed to the prevailing wage exemption. A general satisfaction on the part of the users indicated that the exemption did not appear to have decreased the quality of school construction either. The exemption did not appear to have much impact on construction wages, as school construction accounted for a small percentage of construction activity, construction workers do not specialize in school construction only, and demand for construction workers has been high since the exemption went into effect. 79p.
Report NO: 149

Community Guide to Understanding the School Budget. Adobe PDF
(Charlotte Advocates for Public Education, Charlotte, NC, 2002)
This guide introduces the community to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools budget and explains how it works. The guide is for parents, voters, taxpayers, residents, and students. The guide describes the two main types of school funding, operating and capital. It looks at where the money comes from; explains the various ways operations money is spent on staff, transportation, maintenance, food service, and special programs; tells how bond money is being used for new construction, renovation, upkeep, technology, and other projects; looks at what the budget buys; and enumerates ways to take action. Includes resources for more information. 32p.

Dollars and Sense: the Cost Effectiveness of Small Schools. Adobe PDF
Bingler, Steven; Diamond, Barbara M.; Hill, Bobbie; Hoffman, Jerry L.; Howley, Craig B.; Lawrence, Barbara Kent; Mitchell, Stacy; Rudolph, David; Wash
(KnowledgeWorks Foundation, Cincinatti, OH; The Rural School and Community Trust, Washington, DC; Concordia, LLC, New Orleans, LA , 2002)
This publication summarizes research on the educational and social benefits of small schools and the negative effects of large schools on students, teachers, and members of the community, as well as the "diseconomies of scale" inherent in large schools. It asserts that research shows that measuring the cost of education by graduates rather than by all students who go through the system suggests that small schools are a wise investment. Using data drawn from 489 schools submitted to design competitions in 1990-2001, the publication concludes that small schools can be built cost effectively and that many districts are doing so. 31p.

Lowering the Overhead by Raising the Roof: and Other Rural Trust Strategies to Reduce the Costs of your Small School.
Lawrence, Barbara Kent
(The Rural School and Community Trust, Washington, DC. , 2002)
This publication helps communities reduce the costs of maintaining, building, and renovating good, small schools. It includes specific strategies that rural communities have used to reduce the costs of their small schools. It begins by suggesting factors to consider before starting to plan a school facilities project, such as understanding the resistance to small schools that many administrators and legislators may have, and also understanding the importance of examining and questioning state policies. It continues by providing a total of 13 strategies for reducing costs including the importance of good maintenance and siting and using renovation instead of resorting to new construction. The book ends with an extensive list of resources for further information on the strategies.
TO ORDER: The Rural School and Community Trust, 1825 K Street, NW, Suite 703, Washington, DC, 20006. Tel: 202-955-7177.

A Comparison of Public School Construction Costs in Three Midwestern States that Have Changed Their Prevailing Wage Laws in the 1990s: Kentucky, Ohio, and Michigan. Adobe PDF
Philips, Peter
(University of Utah , Feb 2001)
Focuses on the specific question of whether or not the application of prevailing wage regulations raises costs, and if so, how much. New public school construction in Kentucky, Ohio and Michigan over the period 1991 to 2000 is examined. 16p.

School Construction Report. [Vermont] Adobe PDF
Klein, Stephen; Perrault, Mark; Teachout, Sara; Hilgendorf, Catherine; James, Brad; Savage, Stuart
(Report to the Vermont Legislature , Jan 15, 2001)
Discusses the adequacy and availability of state assistance for K-12 school construction in Vermont. Stated concerns include the annual obligation for expenditures exceeds the amount of capital bill funding; current state law reimburses a fixed 30% of allowable costs which is inadequate, and no readily available source of funds for long-term school construction needs. A school construction study discusses financial equity, state funding outlook, statutory priority system, fast growing districts, school facilities conditions, and technical education centers. 42p.

Cost Analysis and Financial Strategies: On-line Lesson.
(Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ, 2001)
Undergraduate course guide on recreational facility grounds maintenance standards. Includes analysis of funding levels, maintenance service objectives, public partnership considerations and a guide to levels of maintenance suited to different types of outdoor facilities, including per/acre maintenance cost estimates. 10p.

Cost Containment Cookbook for Public School Construction. Adobe PDF
(Coalition for Adequate School Housing, Sacramento, CA , 2001)
This document is intended to be a "cookbook" of the numerous elements that collectively influence the cost containment of school construction projects. Each element is meant to indicate an action in the process that the school district should pay attention to and ensure is properly accomplished. The elements influencing cost containment are detailed in five categories, each representing one of the basic phases of a project: (1) pre-design; (2) design; (3) bid and award; (4) construction; and (5) occupancy. (Contains a glossary of terms.) 20p.
TO ORDER: Coalition for Adequate School Housing

Florida Educational Facilities, 2000. Adobe PDF
(Florida State Dept. of Education, Office of Educational Facilities,Tallahassee. , 2001)
This publication describes Florida school and community college facilities completed in 2000, including photographs and floor plans. The facilities profiled are: J. R. Arnold High School (Bay County); Falcon Cove Middle School (Broward); Floranada Elementary School (Broward); Lyons Creek Middle School (Broward); Parkside Elementary School (Broward); Plantation Elementary School (Broward); Forest Ridge Elementary School (Citrus); Corkscrew Middle School (Collier); Doral Middle School (Miami-Dade); Dr. Carlos J. Finlay Elementary School (Miami-Dade); Felix Varela Senior High School (Miami-Dade); La Villa School of the Arts (Duval); Peter B. Davidsen Middle School (Hillsborough); Lawton Chiles High School (Leon); Marjorie G. Kinnan Elementary School (Manatee); William Monroe Rowlett Magnet Elementary School (Manatee); Madison Street School of Basics Plus (Marion); South Elementary School (Okeechobee); Endeavor Elementary School (Orange); Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune Elementary School (Palm Beach); Coral Reef Elementary School (Palm Beach); Heritage Elementary School (Palm Beach); Lake Shore Middle School (Palm Beach); Village Academy Elementary School (Palm Beach); Chasco Elementary and Middle School (Pasco); J. W. Mitchell High School (Pasco); Sunray Elementary School (Pasco); Perkins Elementary School (Pinellas); Woodlawn Beach Middle School (Santa Rosa); Brookside Middle School (Sarasota); Lawton Chiles Middle School (Seminole); John Evans Elementary School (Seminole); Millennium Middle School (Seminole); Bartram Trail High School (Saint Johns); Pedro Menendez High School (Saint Johns); Branford Elementary School (Suwannee); Freedom Elementary School (Volusia); Riversprings Middle School (Wakulla); Washington County Middle/High School (Washington); William Schildecker Science Building (Daytona Beach Community College); Kenneth P. Walker Health Science Hall (Edison Community College, Lee County Campus); Betty P. Cook/Nassau Center (Florida Community College); Student Service Building (Polk Community College); Oviedo Campus (Seminole Community College); Public Service Academy (South Florida Community College); and a new classroom building (Valencia Community College, Osceola Campus). 97p.

Construction of Educational Facilities. Adobe PDF
(Governor's Education Reform Study Commission, Education Facilities Committee, Atlanta, GA , Nov 28, 2000)
This issue paper discusses principles of good management of construction and some options Georgia may use in the future to manage school construction and control costs. The paper begins by providing some background on common forms of construction management and delivery. Then the paper discusses principles of good contracts. The background section concludes with some information on factors that influence the cost of construction once the design is complete and background on construction materials. The next section of the paper, "Current Conditions," looks at what school systems and the state are doing related to construction. The third section of the paper highlights specific findings about the construction process and the current state activities related to school construction. In the final section of the paper, various alternatives are presented related to construction materials and techniques, costs of construction, construction management and delivery, and contractual issues that could improve school construction in the state of Georgia. 20p.

Building Middle Schools On a Budget. Adobe PDF
Lundt, John C.; Matt, John
(Dept. of Educational Leadership and Counseling, University of Montana , Oct 26, 2000)
This report describes the history of St. Ignatius, a small school district in western Montana, and reveals how it defied conventional wisdom that school construction was a stress-filled and expensive experience by building and then expanding their middle school under budget and with greater control. Use of a project manager who would serve as a district employee along with a district team made up of the superintendent, maintenance staff, and trustees to control each phase of the project is described. 15p.

Waste and Abuse: Public School Roofing Projects. Adobe PDF
(New Jersey State Commission of Investigation, Trenton , Sep 2000)
This report details the results of a comprehensive inquiry by New Jersey into one aspect of school construction, the repair and replacement of roof systems, which represents the single most expensive and integral component of a school's physical structure. The investigation began in late 1997 after confidential complaints suggested abuse in the re-roofing of public schools. Investigation revealed evidence of widespread cost-gouging; unscrupulous bidding practices; contract manipulation; questionable design, installation, and inspection procedures; and other abuses. The probe was statewide in scope, involving a review of 115 separate roofing projects in 39 school districts across 13 counties. Projects carried a total taxpayer investment of more than $37.8 million. Key findings fall into five major areas: conflicts of interest/professional misrepresentation, manipulation of public bidding and contracting, questions of safety, inadequate oversight, and improper labor practices/payroll violations. The report discusses the proper school roofing process and how it is subverted, offers a case study of Edison Township school district, provides roofing project summaries for several districts, describes a model roofing project, and provides recommendations. 176p.

Condition of America's Public School Facilities: 1999
Lewis, Laurie; Snow, Kyle; Farris, Elizabeth
(U.S. Department of Education, Office of Educational Research and Improvement, National Center for Education Statistics. Washington, D.C. , Jun 2000)
This report provides national data for 903 U.S. public elementary and secondary schools on the condition of public schools in 1999 and the costs to bring them into good condition. Additionally provided are school plans for repairs, renovations, and replacements; data on the age of public schools; and overcrowding and practices used to address overcrowding. Among the findings are: about a quarter of the schools reported at least one type of onsite building in less than adequate condition; half reported at least one building feature in less than adequate condition; and about 4 out of 10 reported at least one unsatisfactory environmental condition. Data also suggest that the oldest schools are most in need of attention but that many of these schools do not have plans for improvement. About three-quarters of public schools do not have problems with overcrowding, but nearly 10 percent have enrollments that are more than 25 percent greater than the capacity of their permanent buildings. 118p.
Report NO: NCES 2000-032

Modernizing Our Schools: What Will It Cost? Adobe PDF
(National Education Association, Washington, DC , May 2000)
This document presents a 50-state estimate of the need for school modernization in the United States along with recommendations. Key findings show the total funding need for public school modernization is $321.9 billion; and that total funding needed for public modernization varies dramatically across states, ranging from $50.7 billion (New York) to $333 million (Vermont). Recommendations offered for addressing the problem include some states using their current budget surpluses for immediate, productive investments in school modernization; more federal assistance to modernize; adequate funding for teacher education to take full advantage of technology; and state level need assessments and action planning. Appendices provide data tables, a school modernization needs assessment questionnaire, data collection matrixes for school modernization needs assessment, calculation of unmet funding need for education technology, descriptive statistics, and state assessments of school infrastructure and education technology and related materials. (Contains 62 references). 64p.

Public School Construction Cost Reduction Guidelines. Adobe PDF
(California State Allocation Board, Sacramento , Apr 26, 2000)
Sets forth best practices and strategies for constructing or modernizing school facilities. Developed through a series of workshops, it identifies some of the key issues and processes that inflate construction costs, and suggests how to avoid them. The recommendations are organized under the categories of joint use, site selection, consultant relations, contractor relations, state agencies, construction, prototypes, and project delivery. 107p.

School Facilities. Construction Expenditures Have Grown Significantly in Recent Years Report to the Chairman, Committee on Education and the Workforce, U.S. House of Representatives. Adobe PDF
(General Accounting Office, Washington, DC , Mar 2000)
A General Accounting Office report examines how states and local school districts have been dealing with the issues facing their public school facilities: (1) the trends since 1990 in elementary and secondary school construction expenditures and how these expenditures were divided between land, buildings, and equipment; (2) trends since 1990 in the amount of expenditures for elementary and secondary schools construction by type of school and type of construction; and (3) the amounts and mix of state and local funding for elementary and secondary school construction. Data show a 39 percent increase in elementary and secondary school construction annual expenditures. Most of the increase was for new buildings; expenditures for equipment such as heating and air conditioning systems only slightly increased during the 8-year period. It also reveals most of the construction expenditures was for construction of primary schools and high schools, and most of the contract spending for new facilities and additions to existing facilities, with less being spent on renovations. Fifteen states provided little or no funding in 1998-99. Appendices provide the scope and methodology of the research, statistical tables, and comments from the Department of Education. 33p.
Report NO: GAO/HEHS-00-41

Frugal Construction Standards. [Florida] Adobe PDF
(SMART Schools Clearinghouse, Tallahassee, FL , Jan 25, 2000)
This booklet provides best practice recommendations for building functional and frugal schools in Florida. Seventeen best practice construction recommendations are addressed, including recommendations for sitework, concrete, masonry, metals, wood and plastics, thermal and moisture protection, doors and windows, finishes, equipment, furnishings, mechanical and electrical, and technology systems. Application procedures are also provided for design professionals to have their design evaluated and designated as a "SMART School Design." A final document is included that lists guidelines for partially determining a school's inclusion as a "SMART School Design." 41p.

Florida Educational Facilities, 1999. Adobe PDF
(Florida State Dept. of Education, Office of Educational Facilities, Tallahassee. , 2000)
This publication describes Florida school and community college facilities completed in 1999, including photographs and floor plans. The facilities profiled are: Buchholz High School (Alachua County); Gator Run Elementary School (Broward); Corkscrew Elementary School (Collier); The 500 Role Models Academy of Excellence (Miami-Dade); Caribbean Elementary School (Miami-Dade); Jose De Diego Middle School (Miami-Dade); Primary Learning Center X (Miami-Dade); New Old Town Elementary School (Dixie); Bell Elementary School (Gilchrist); Chocachatti Elementary School (Hernando); Anthony Pizzo Elementary School (Hillsborough); Chain of Lakes Middle School (Orange); Lawton Chiles Elementary School (Orange); NorthLake Park Community School (Orange); Oakshire Elementary School (Orange); Wesley Chapel High School (Pasco); Avalon Middle School (Santa Rosa); West Navarre Elementary School (Santa Rosa); Tuttle Elementary School (Sarasota); Vernon Middle School (Washington); Dale Mabry Campus new laboratory/classroom buildings (Hillsborough Community College); Public Service Technology Building (Hillsborough Community College); Seminole Campus-Technology Learning Center Building (St. Petersburg Junior College); and Science Laboratory Building (Seminole Community College). Also included are tables of new facilities contracted in 1999 and the cost of construction for Florida education facilities. 56p.

The Appraisal of Investments in Educational Facilities Adobe PDF
(Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, Programme on Educational Building, Paris, France , 2000)
A collection of papers is presented that address, from a European perspective, the basic aspects of investments in physical educational facilities and important issues in the economics of education. Four themes are covered. The first aims at presenting a state of the art of the economic analysis of educational projects. The second focuses on the contribution of performance indicators in the evaluation of education systems. The third concerns the management of physical resources for education, especially the relationship between school environment and student achievement. The last theme addresses the design and equipment of physical facilities for education. It argues for investments in building human capital, and provides the tools for assessing the rates of return on these types of investments. Final comments focus on facility flexibility: what it is and which requirements it is supposed to meet. 234p.
Report NO: OECD-50647-2000

More and Better Schools with Repeal of Prevailing Wage. Adobe PDF
(Washington Research Council Special Report, Seattle, WA , Dec 20, 1999)
The Research Council estimates that but for the prevailing wage law, for every eight schools that school districts now build, they could build a ninth at no extra cost. Results are based on a survey of Spokane-area contractors. Compares Washington's school construction costs with costs in Idaho. 8p.

Prevailing Wage Rates: The Effects on School Construction Costs, Levels of Taxation, and State Reimbursements.
Keller, Edward C.
(Doctoral Dissertation, Pennsylvania State University , Aug 1999)
Assess the financial impact of prevailing wage rates on school districts and the state of Pennsylvania. A series of research questions examine the issue from individual construction project to statewide consequences. Twenty-five schools, which had a construction project within the last three years, were randomly chosen from among predetermined economic regions. Both prevailing wage data and “market rates” for each project were collected and input into the model and the effects of any rate variances calculated. The results were extrapolated first to each economic region and then statewide. The result was an estimate of the dollar impact of the prevailing wage mandate for an state school construction activity, measured in terms of higher (or lower) construction costs, local taxes, reimbursement from the Commonwealth and the impact on school district taxpayers. 91p.
Report NO: 9940877

TO ORDER: Proquest, 300 North Zeeb Road, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI, 48106-1346; Tel: 734-761-4700, Toll Free: 800-521-0600, email:

Do Lower Prevailing Wages Reduce Public Construction Costs? Adobe PDF
Wial, Howard
(Keystone Research Center, Harrisburg, PA , Jul 1999)
In 1997, the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry implemented a change in its method of determining prevailing wage and benefit rates, resulting in a reduction in the legally required prevailing rates in many construction trades in much of the state. This report analyzes data to determine if this change in fact lowered the cost of public construction projects. It concludes that this claim is not supported. It asserts, for example, that data on public school construction costs show no strong evidence that Pennsylvania's lower prevailing wages and benefits reduced construction costs charged by contractors performing public works. The report also finds that lower prevailing minimum wages paid to workers have no measurable impact on public construction costs partly because wage declines lead to offsetting declines in productivity. 10p.
Report NO: 99/2

School Construction Cost Information. North Carolina Public Schools.
(North Carolina State Department of Public Instruction, Raleigh, NC, 1999)
Summary data is presented for the following: North Carolina School Construction Cost by Year (1994-1999); North Carolina School Construction Cost by Separate Prime Contract; and Typical Elementary School Project Costs.

Life Cycle Cost Analysis Handbook. First Edition.
Mearig, Tim; Coffee, Nathan; Morgan, Michael
(State of Alaska, Department of Education and Early Development, Alaska School Facilities, Juneau, AK , 1999)
The guidelines incorporated in this handbook have been developed to assist Alaskan school districts, their consultants, and communities in evaluating the life cycle cost of school construction decisions. Life cycle cost is defined as the total discounted dollar cost of owning, operating, maintaining, and disposing of a building or a building system over a period of time. 30p.

Program Demand Cost Model for Alaskan Schools
Morgan, Michael; Mearig, Tim; Coffee, Nathan
(Alaska State Dept. of Education, Juneau, AK , 1999)
Handbook for establishing budgets for the following three types of construction projects: new schools or additions; renovations; and combined new work and renovations. The handbook supports a demand cost model computer program that includes detailed renovation cost data, itemized by building systems, to allow for generating specific renovation costs from window replacements to complete interior tear out and remodel. Includes worksheet descriptions for each type of construction project detailed in the program. Also includes a single page summary of the project identification and the estimated project costs. Data tables list statistics on geographic area cost factors, a size adjustment chart, an index of Alaskan construction escalation, and the categories for the type of space added or improved under the Department of Education Instruction CIP Application. 50p.

Prevailing Wage Laws and School Construction Costs. An Analysis of Public School Construction in Maryland and the Mid Atlantic States. Adobe PDF
Prus, Mark J.
(Prince George's County Council, MD , Jan 1999)
This study compares school construction costs in states with prevailing wage laws to those in states without prevailing wage laws in the mid Atlantic region; compares school construction cots within Maryland for those local jurisdictions that pay prevailing wages to costs in those areas where prevailing wage rates are not required; analyzes the extent to which local contractors have been harmed by unfair competition from outside contractors due to the absence of prevailing wage requirements on school construction projects; and examines the extent to which the absence of prevailing wage rates in school construction impacts construction wages across the construction industry. 34p.

Partnerships between Public Schools and Private Developers. An Investigative Report Adobe PDF
Wildman, Scott
(Joint Legislative Audit Committee of the California State Legislature, Sacramento, CA , Dec 1998)
This report presents findings from investigations of seven public/private partnerships between school districts and the private sector. The report reveals that in all seven cases, school districts encountered significant problems and complications that appear to far outweigh the benefits that these projects' proponents promised to the school districts. Evidence suggests that the Los Angeles Unified School District joint venture operation in particular, being largely unsupervised and virtually unaccountable, engaged in irresponsible, and possibly illegal, behavior by consistently misrepresenting basic facts in order to gamble public funds on highly speculative projects. The report indicates that these abuses have misdirected and squandered millions of taxpayers dollars intended for instructional programs and the rebuilding of the public education infrastructure. 145p.

Where Has the Money Gone? School Construction in Los Angeles Unified School District Adobe PDF
Wildman, Scott
(Joint Legislative Audit Committee of the California State Legislature, Sacramento, CA , Jul 1998)
The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) offers its own school district data in four areas: enrollment growth; seat capacity; school construction costs; and land acquisition. Also included are data on new school construction, property condemnations, and modernization projects over the past two decades. Appendices provide data on LAUSD enrollment growth and total expenditures by category for all funding in the 1990 through 1998 final budgets. 29p.

District of Columbia Public Schools: Availability of Funds and the Cost of FY 1997 Roof Projects. Testimony before the Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management, Restructuring and the District of Columbia Committee on Governmental Affairs Adobe PDF
(General Accounting Office, Accounting and Information Management Div., Washington, DC. , 1998)
This document presents the results of a review of the District of Columbia Public Schools' (DCPS) efforts to repair school roofs during the summer of 1997. The statement details when funds were made available to pay for roof repairs, the costs of the roof repairs, and additional roofs to be fixed in fiscal year 1998 and beyond. Sufficient funding ($38 million) to begin roof work became available in 1997 and repairs were initiated that summer. A review of construction shows that the DCPS spent $37 million for roof repair in fiscal 1997. The cost included an extensive amount of work to ensure that facilities were structurally sound and watertight. Considering the costs for all the work involved, the average per spare foot cost was about $20. Contracts managed by the General Services Administration averaged $13 per square foot, whereas contracts overseen by the DCPS cost around $22 per square foot. Much of the cost was caused by extensive repairs that were required at particular schools. For fiscal year 1998, the DCPS Capital Improvement Program budget shows that about $35 million will be spent on 40 school-roof projects. 8p.
Report NO: GAO/T-AIMD-98-95

An Approach for Measuring Reductions in Operations, Maintenance, and Energy Costs: Baseline Measures of Construction Industry Practices for the National Construction Goals. Adobe PDF
Chapman, Robert E.; Rennison, Roderick
(National Institute of Standards and Technology, Office of Applied Economics, Gaithersburg, MD , 1997)
The Construction and Building Subcommittee of the National Science and Technology Council (NCTC) has established seven National Construction Goals. This document provides a detailed set of baseline measures for the NCTC goal regarding reductions in operations, maintenance, and energy costs. Following the introduction, chapter 2 introduces the National Construction Goals, describes how a well-defined set of metrics is used to develop the baseline measures and measures of progress, and outlines the project approach. Chapter 3 provides an overview of the construction industry. Chapter 4 presents two data schemes from which key metrics are derived and used to develop the baseline measures. Chapters 5, 6, 7, and 8 examine the baseline measures relating to the residential, commercial/institutional, industrial, and public works sectors respectively. Each sector is examined as to size, changes, and key characteristics. The key operations, maintenance, and energy cost baseline measures for each sector are summarized at the end of each chapter. 335p.
Report NO: NISTIR-6185

Square Foot Construction Costs for Newly Constructed State and Local Schools, Offices and Warehouses in Nine Southwestern and Intermountain States 1992-1994. Adobe PDF
Philips, Peter
(Prepared for the Legislative Education Study Committee of the New Mexico State Legislature , Sep 06, 1996)
This study compared square foot construction costs of schools in five states with prevailing wage legislation (New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Wyoming, and Nevada) with four states without (Arizona, Utah, Idaho, and Colorado). Found that elimination of prevailing wage laws does not save on public construction costs. Prevailing wage laws appear to promote collective bargaining and apprenticeship training and may consequently lower public construction costs. 43p.

Arizona School Construction Costs: Sample Study. Adobe PDF
Keegan, Lisa Graham
(Arizona State Dept. of Education, Phoenix. , 1996)
Facts on school construction, from a statewide perspective, are an important part of long-range planning. To help with such planning, the state of Arizona compiled information on construction costs per pupil and costs per square foot (sf) during a school year, and reviewed the findings of the 1995 "Arizona School Facilities Review," all of which are reported here. The data were taken from an in-depth study of new schools under construction during 1995-1996. Additional information was collected through telephone surveys with district staff, architects, and contractors involved in the projects. The sample comprised 28 schools. It was found that the cost of building a new school ranged from $2,680,055 to $14,962,270. The average square footage per student was 104, the average costs per sf was $83, and the average cost per student was $12,017. Architectural fees ranged from $1.19 per building sf to $6.68 per building sf. The critical condition of schools in the state, which was evaluated in an earlier study, was then compared to new construction and additions. Results indicate that 35 schools had critical needs, with many schools having some type of severe problem. Recommendations include selecting an architect on a project-by-project basis and ensuring that the contract bid out in the spring, one year prior to opening. 75p.

[New York] State Education Department Facilities Planning Unit Report. Adobe PDF
(New York State Office of the Comptroller, Div. of Management Audit, Albany, NY , 1996)
The Education Department's Facilities Planning unit approves state aid for school-district construction projects outside New York City. This report presents findings of an audit that evaluated whether the Unit management's oversight assured that school construction projects were cost effective and in compliance with the State Building Code. 20p.
Report NO: Report 96-D-4

Program Demand Cost Model for Alaskan Schools. Adobe PDF
(Alaska State Dept. of Education, Juneau , 1996)
The Program Demand Cost Model for Alaskan Schools (Cost Model) is a tool for use by school districts and their consultants in estimating school construction costs in the planning phase of a project. This document sets out the sixth edition of the demand-cost model, a rewrite of the whole system. The model can be used to establish a complete budget for each facility or to determine the current replacement value for insurance purposes. The document explains, using detailed worksheets, how to use the demand-cost model for new school construction, school expansion, and renovation work. Three tables are included. 98p.

Small Schools and Savings: Affordable New Construction, Renovation and Remodeling. Adobe PDF
Dolinsky, D.; Frankl, J. S.
(The Public Education Association, New York, NY, Dec 1992)
"Small Schools and Savings" rebuts the presumption that capital costs of school planning and construction render small schools uncompetitively expensive. Specific options are outlined that can help small schools be cost effective. The false logic of borrowing economies-of-scale arguments from the factory model and applying them to building schools is contradicted through an investigation that shows countervailing economies in a flexible, adaptive approach to school planning, siting, and organization. Specific potential savings opportunities that are advocated center on (1) the use of smaller sites; (2) renovation of an existing abandoned or underused building; (3) collaboration with other public agencies to incorporate smaller schools in multiuse facilities; and (4) integration with private or public sector construction or renovation projects or negotiation to include a school in construction or renovation of low-rise housing. It is unnecessary and inconsistent with new insights about urban education to continue building new, too-large buildings dedicated to schools. Two appendixes consider school size and achievement and findings from a Chicago (Illinois) study, and a third contains a 72-item bibliography. 62p.

Decentralisation and Educational Building Management: The Impact of Recent Reforms.
(Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Paris, France , 1992)
Examines the legislative and administrative framework within which schools are planned and built, they way in which resources are allocated for their construction and maintenance, and how they are run on a daily basis. Part 1 provides a synthesis of recent developments in five OECD countries--France, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, and the United Kingdom. Diagrams illustrate each country's educational structure. Part 2 presents eight papers, which deal in more detail with aspects of educational planning management, drawing particularly on the Dutch experience. The papers show how the daily operation and management of educational buildings is irrevocably linked to the initial capital investment, and why it is essential to provide adequately for maintenance. Five figures are included. The annex contains a list of issues discussed 87p.

Projecting Costs for School Buildings under Various Growth Scenarios. Adobe PDF
Reilly, James
(New Jersey Office of State Planning, Trenton, NJ , Apr 1990)
This model was developed to estimate the capital costs required to build new school buildings to accomodate future populations. The model includes four steps: forecast of public school students by county; assignment of public school students to school districts; comparison of district enrollment to facility capacity and cost estimation of new facility; and assignment of district capital costs to municipalities. Appendices provide the organization of the New Jersey School Districts 1984-85, questionnaires used to obtain enrollment and capacity data, public school enrollment by county for 1980, and table of enrollment and capacity by district for 1989-90.
Report NO: OSP-TR-62

The Impact of Selected Variables upon School Construction Costs.
Williams, Clacy E.; Earthman, Glen I.
Apr 1983
The purpose of this study was to test the relationship between the per pupil cost of new school construction in West Virginia and independent variables categorized as either financial, school district characteristics, or individual building characteristics. The study group consisted of 128 elementary, secondary, and vocational-technical school facilities constructed between 1974 and 1982. These were funded through West Virginia's Better School Buildings Amendment which provided for state funds on a grant basis and additional incentive money to help generate local revenues for school construction and improvement. A multiple regression analysis revealed that the per pupil cost of school construction is significantly affected by the assessed value of the school district, the local effort of the district in facility construction, the amount of money from the state level, and the type of facility. Variables found to be nonsignificant were total education expenditures, federal funds, size of the district, geographic location, rural- urban factor, the amount of instructional space, and the length of construction time. The authors recommend that new legislation be adopted to continue funding the construction of school facilities with money from the state level, and that a funding formula be developed that addresses the variables found to be significant in this study. 16p.

Initial Costs vs. Operational Costs. A Study of Building Improvement Projects in Fourteen Schools in the School District of Greenville County, South Carolina.
Chan, Tak Cheung
(Office of School Facilities Planning, The School District of Greenville County, Greenville, SC, 1980)
To determine whether initial facility improvement costs were paid back by the reduced operational costs resulting from the improvement projects, this study examined the relationship between initial costs and operational costs of fourteen school buildings improved during the 1978-79 school year in Greenville County, South Carolina. With energy conservation as a goal, windows were replaced, roofs were insulated and HVAC systems were modified or replaced. Estimated annual dollar savings (from electricity payment records) were divided into the amount spent on improvement to determine the number of years required for payback. The findings indicated that ten of the fourteen buildings became more energy efficient and eight were able to pay back the initial improvement costs within their expected life span. A relationship between initial improvement costs and operational costs of school buildings was supported in that the initial costs of improvement could be repaid by the resultant reduction in operational costs.

References to Journal Articles

K-12 Schools Report: A Lot of Pent-up Need, With Optimism for 2013
Building Design + Construction; Jul 2012
Lists the top 25 architecture, engineering, and construction firms in the K-12 school sector, according to their 2011 revenues.

Higher Education Market Holding Steady
Bowling, Nicole
Building Design+ Construction; Jul 2012
Lists top 25 architecture, engineering, and construction companies in the higher education sector, according to 2011 revenues. Discusses trends in higher education construction.

School Construction Progress
Kennedy, Mike
American School and University; May 2012
The U.S. economy hasn’t bounced back, but many schools and universities have managed to pursue major construction programs. Describes building progress in Clark County, Nevada; Katy, Texas; San Francisco; Fairfax County, Virginia; Gwinnett County, Georgia; and Texas State University in San Marcos.

17th Annual School Construction Report: It's Still Billions of Dollars Adobe PDF
Abramson, Paul
School Planning and Management; Feb 2012
Reports that school construction completed in 2011 was $12.2 billion, continuing a downward trend since 2009. $6.9 billion was spent on new schools, while $2.6 billion went to additions and $2.6 billion went to retrofit and modernize existing structures. Accompanying information for 12 geographic regions include 2011 data and projected 2012 school completions. Additional tables present data on spending according to grade level, building type, school size, amenities that are being included in today's schools, regional breakouts, and trends in costs since 1995.

Wood Scores A+ in School Construction
Architectural Record; Jan 2012
Discusses how wood has been used as a structural and finish material in schools; considers the effects of wood on human health and well-being in an educational environment; describes the environmental and economical advantages wood brings to school construction; shows how wood contributes to a school's green building goals.

Outlook 2012
Kennedy, Mike
American School and University; Jan 2012
Education institutions must keep a tight rein on spending in 2012 as they search for signs that the national economy is back on its feet. A slow, uncertain economic recovery has improved finances in some parts of the country, but for others, the absence of recovery may require further cuts. Describes the outlook in the following specific areas: funding; charter schools; construction; equity; closings; growth; maintenance & operations; No Child Left Behind; nutrition; security; technology; and sustainability.

Safe, High-Performance, Sustainable Precast School Design Adobe PDF
Finsen, Peter I.
Educational Facility Planner; v45 n4 , p59-64 ; Dec 2011
School design utilizing integrated architectural and structural precast and prestressed concrete components has gained greater acceptance recently for numerous reasons, including increasingly sophisticated owners and improved learning environments based on material benefits such as: sustainability, energy efficiency, indoor air quality, storm resistance, cost effectiveness (initial and life-cycle), durability and low maintenance.

New Modular Classrooms Expected to Cut Construction Costs 25 Percent
School Construction News; Nov 30, 2011
Describes environmentally friendly kits, called PodSolves, that consist of steel framing that comes together to form flexible classroom units. The classroom pods are designed to serve as standalones or integrated with more traditional construction.

Two-in-one Building Concept Maximized Construction Funds
Diez, Roy
School Construction News; , 2p ; Nov 30, 2011
Case study of North Central College in Naperville, Illinois, that built a unique two-buildings-in-one: 201,000-square-foot Residence/Rec Center, completed in the fall of 2009, and four-story, 265-bed dormitory that wraps around a 62,000-square-foot field house like a 34-foot-wide rectangular donut.

Supply and Demand in School Construction
Goldstein, Roger; Feely, Michael
American School and University; Nov 2011
Education institutions can embrace expansion opportunities by transforming abandoned industrial buildings, such as warehouses, big-box stores, and manufacturing facilities, into academic spaces. As a cost-effective, sustainable and efficient alternative to new construction—which typically is more expensive and more time-consuming—renovations of existing buildings can produce needed facilities with shorter time-to-occupancy schedules and often lower construction costs.

The Business of School Building Construction
Praeger, Charles
American School and University; Nov 2011
Education institutions can control cost variables by considering metal building systems. Describes numerous misconceptions concerning the use of this building material.

An Overlooked Asset. Community Colleges Shine Despite the Sketchy Economy.
Sronkoski, Jeffrey and Lundeen, Michael
College Planning and Management; , p16-19 ; Oct 2011
A fragile economy forces many community colleges to confront a paradoxical challenge: accommodate surging enrollments while responding to shrinking state funding. From a design and construction standpoint, many community colleges have continued to evolve despite their economy-induced tribulations. The strategies they have employed range from utilization studies to campus-wide building programs.

Sustainable Design Decisions and Costs in Research Laboratories.
Boyd, Taylor; Neilson, John; Sisle, Ellen
Laboratory Design; v15 n4 , p10,12-14 ; Jul 2011
Illustrates difficult choices when green design is not cost-effective, especially in instances of research laboratory buildings, due to the specialized activities that take place within them and the materials, personnel and equipment they contain.

Construction Cost Trends for 2011. Adobe PDF
Design Cost Data; v55 n3 , p11 ; May-Jun 2011
Details current price trends for construction materials in general, as well as for stainless steel, carpet, brick, paint, and plywood.

21st Century Learning.
Kennedy, Mike
American School and University; v83 n8 , p16-18,20,22 ; May 2011
Compares a 1990's concept of 21st century school improvements with the current reality of upgrades in an ailing economy. The biggest impact is on school libraries, since students no longer need to spend great amounts of time in the library because of technological advances. The savings on library capital expenses can be directed towards other uses like gymnasiums and theaters.

Appropriate in Any Climate.
Wiens, Janet
College Planning and Management; v14 n5 , p55-57 ; May 2011
Advocates the use of modular, insulated concrete form, and precast concrete construction for exterior walls in school. Construction ease, affordability, durability, and high insulating value are the main benefits.

Green Design and Construction.
School Planning and Management; v50 n4 , p42-44,46 ; Apr 2011
Profiles River Crest Elementary School in Wisconsin's Hudson School District. The LEED-Gold certified school was built at a square foot cost about 25 percent less than similar schools in the region, but with extensive "green" features that will yield improved lighting and indoor air quality, energy and water savings, and a facility that elicits environmental consciousness from its users.

Construction Cost Trends for 2011. Adobe PDF
Design Cost Data; v55 n2 , p11 ; Mar-Apr 2011
Details current price trends for construction materials in general, as well as for batt insulation, PVC piping, asphalt, gypsum board, and ductile iron pipe.

Billions to Spend. How a $5.7 Billion Program to Rebuild Los Angeles Community Colleges Went Astray.
Holland, Gale; Finnegan, Michael
Los Angeles Times; Mar 2011
A six-part series investigates how tens of millions of dollars was wasted in a Los Angeles Community College District $5.7 billion project to rebuild its nine campuses for the 21st century.

Schools in the New Economy.
Kennedy, Mike
American School and University; v83 n7 , p16-18,20-22 ; Mar 2011
Describes impact of economic downturn on school construction projects. The article includes the topics "Staying Afloat" (cutbacks needed simply to keep schools open); "On Hold" (school systems that anticipate an upturn); "onstruction Moratorium" (selective elimination of capital projects rather than an increase in tuition); and "Pogress Halted." (Reduction in spending on programs that have demonstrated success).

16th Annual School Construction Report: School Construction Spending Shifts Gears. Adobe PDF
Abramson, Paul
School Planning and Management; v50 n2 , pCR1-CR16 ; Feb 2011
Reports that school construction completed in 2010 was just over $14.5 billion, representing a 12 percent decline over 2009. $8.7 billion was spent on new schools, while $3 billion went to additions and $2.8 billion went to retrofit and modernize existing structures. Accompanying information for 12 geographic regions include 2010 data and projected 2011 school completions. Additional tables present data on spending according to grade level, building type, school size, amenities that are being included in today's schools, regional breakouts, and trends in costs since 1995.

The 2011 College Construction Report. Adobe PDF
Abramson, Paul
College Planning and Management; v14 n2 , pCR1-CR8 ; Feb 2011
Reports that higher education construction completed in 2010 totaled $11 billion, representing an increase from 2009. New construction accounted for $7.91 billion, while expansion and renovation accounted for $3.14 billion. Tables illustrate historical data for 1995-2009, breakouts of data for 12 geographical regions, projected 2011 completions and starts, expenditures by building type, where renovation dollars are being spent, and square foot costs

Construction Cost Trends for 2011 Adobe PDF
Design Cost Data; v55 n1 , p12 ; Jan-Feb 2011
Details current price trends for construction materials in general, as well as for lumber, cement and concrete, steel, aluminum sheet, and copper.

The DCD Educational Cost per Square Foot Analysis.
Design Cost Data; v44 n1 , p17 ; Jan-Feb 2011
Presents square foot cost construction figures for schools of various sizes in nine American metropolitan areas.

Outlook 2011.
Kennedy, Mike
American School and University; v83 n5 , p12-14,16-24 ; Jan 2011
Forecasts issues for schools in 2011. Subjects addressed include funding, class size, bond issues, community colleges, security, construction, sustainability, maintenance and operations, technology integration, and enrollment.

Cutting Costs/Maintaining Quality.
Spector, Marc
School Planning and Management; v49 n12 , p30,33,34 ; Dec 2010
Suggests that the lessons learned for cost savings during the recent economic crisis will remain with the design and construction industry for the foreseeable future. The author offers examples of attractive schools designed with longevity in mind and with green components and built on constraints of a reduced budget.

Green Energy in New Construction: Maximize Energy Savings and Minimize Cost.
Ventresca, Joseph
School Business Affairs; v76 n10 , p12-15 ; Dec 2010
Discusses the concept of simultaneously achieving low energy bills and low construction costs by utilizing energy modeling and LEED principles. It is noted that LEED construction will not guarantee energy efficiency once the building is in use. Instruction for energy simulations, advice on hiring an energy consultant, and four references are included.

Construction Cost Trends for 2010. Adobe PDF
Design Cost Data; v54 n6 , p11 ; Nov-Dec 2010
Presents 2010 cost trends for construction materials overall, as well as individual cost trends for adhesives and sealants, wood siding, optic cable, granite, and vinyl flooring.

Designing in a Tough Economy.
American School and University; v83 n3 , p235-245 ; Nov 2010
Presents responses of 27 architects to questions on how the economic downturn has affected education construction, how they are surviving, and how they have trimmed costs and used creativity to create high-quality schools.

The DCD LEED Square Foot Cost Guide.
Design Cost Data; v54 n6 , p12 ; Nov-Dec 2010
Presents the square foot construction cost data for 17 LEED-certified buildings, including seven schools.

The True Value of Green.
Chadwick, John
Learning By Design; n19 , p11-13 ; Fall 2010
Analyzes costs for building certifiably "green" schools at every level and in several states. Tables for cost per square foot, cost per student, and square feet per student compare costs of non-LEED to LEED construction at various LEED levels. The text describes the types of educational facilities that are seeking certification, as well as median and mean cost analysis.

The $578 Million School.
Kennedy, Mike
American School and University; v83 n2 , p16,17,19-21 ; Oct 2010
Narrates the tumultuous story of the creation of Los Angeles' Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools, built on the site of the former Ambassador Hotel. High land costs, legal challenges from preservationists, high construction bids, and methane mitigation costs are featured, as are varying opinions on its ultimate value.

Planning Green.
Korte, Dan
American School and University; v83 n2 , p32,34,35 ; Oct 2010
Discusses the slight construction cost increase for a LEED-certified building. These costs are typically quickly recovered in lower operation and maintenance costs. The roles of construction manager and contractor participation from the outset of a project seeking LEED certification are emphasized. This is also true if pursuing sustainability, but not LEED certification.

Construction Cost Trends for 2010. Adobe PDF
Design Cost Data; v54 n5 , p11 ; Sep-Oct 2010
Presents 2010 cost trends for construction materials overall, as well as individual cost trends for rubber and rubber products, sand and gravel, millwork, clay and ceramic, and limestone.

UC Irvine Douglas Hospital: A Model for the Entire Industry.
Cassidy, Robert
Building Design and Construction; v51 n5 , p26-29 ; Sep 2010
Describes how this university hospital was built under stringent California guidelines, with careful builder oversight, and was still completed early under budget. Extensive cooperation between officials and the design-build team, value engineering, and deferred building features are described.

Lab Renovation Costs Dip with Economic Doldrums.
Hammer, Ted
Laboratory Design; v15 n8 , p9,10 ; Aug 2010
Discusses the decline in laboratory renovation costs, due to the weak economy. A chart accompanied by text details costs per square foot for laboratory renovations from 2007-2010.

Green Schools on Ordinary Budgets.
Hanson, Mark
The School Administrator; v67 n7 , p32-35 ; Aug 2010
Describes how two "green" Wisconsin schools were built at costs below that of the regional average. The author then describes a variety of techniques that enabled the schools to beat the notion that green schools cost more to build. Buying fewer, but highly efficient light fixtures and creative project delivery strategies are emphasized.

Why Are School Construction Costs So Low?
Cole, Chris
Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce; Jul 22, 2010
Discusses the influences of increased labor productivity and lower risk on construction costs, which are lowering bids on school construction bids during the weak economy.

Construction Cost Trends for 2010. Adobe PDF
Design Cost Data; v54 n4 ; Jul-Aug 2010
Presents 2010 cost trends prediction for construction materials overall, as well as individual cost trends for hot rolled steel bar, concrete block, crushed stone, glass, and precast concrete.

Consider Synergies When Determining the Real Cost of LEED.
Mills-Knapp, Sara; Oppenheimer, Stephen; Andrews, Robert
Laboratory Design; v15 n7 , p1,5,6 ; Jul 2010
Discusses analyzing the cost of LEED-certified design with consideration to base project costs, code compliance, and immediate energy and water savings, rather than strictly as add-on costs.

Construction Cost Trends for 2010. Adobe PDF
Design Cost Data; v54 n3 , p15 ; May-Jun 2010
Presents 2010 cost trends prediction for construction materials overall, as well as individual cost trends for stainless steel, carpet, common brick, paint, and plywood.

The Impact of State Regulations on the Costs of Public School Construction.
Vincent, Jeffrey M.; Monkkonen, Paavo
Journal of Education Finance; v35 n4 , p313-330 ; Spring 2010
Spending by states and local school districts on school construction has increased dramatically over the last decade, not only because more and higher-quality schools are being built, but also because construction costs have increased by an unprecedented degree. This study measures the impacts of three regulations on the costs of construction. Using a database of nearly 3,000 schools constructed nationwide from 1995 to 2004, the authors find that when regulations are considered as additive, construction costs were 11% higher for each additional state regulation. However, they show that when combinations of regulations are considered separately, states with all three regulations have construction costs that are roughly 30% higher than states with none of the three regulations. They also find that prevailing wage laws are not the regulation with the largest cost impact. We conclude that the effects of regulation on school construction costs are more complicated than what previous research suggests.

Construction Cost Trends for 2010. Adobe PDF
Design Cost Data; v54 n2 , p11 ; Mar-Apr 2010
Presents 2010 cost trends prediction for construction materials overall, as well as individual cost trends for asphalt, batt insulation, gypsum board, PVC piping, and ductile iron pipe.

The Cost of Going Green.
Roberts, Lindsey
Preservation; v62 n2 , p40 ; Mar-Apr 2010
Briefly evaluates the cost savings and payback time of energy audits, duct sealing, insulation, storm windows, tankless water heaters, compact fluorescent bulbs, water-saving toilets, ceiling fans, energy-efficient refrigerators, and caulking.

15th Annual School Construction Report. Adobe PDF
Abramson, Paul
School Planning and Management; v49 n2 , pCR1-CR16 ; Feb 2010
Reports that school construction completed in 2009 was just over $16 billion, representing a 16 percent decline over 2009. $11.9 billion was spent on new schools, while $2.1 billion went to expansion and renovation of existing schools. Accompanying information for 12 geographic regions include 2009 data and projected 2010 school completions. Additional tables present data on spending according to grade level, building type, school size, amenities that are being included in today s schools, regional breakouts, and trends in costs since 1995.

Construction Cost Trends for 2010. Adobe PDF
Design Cost Data; v54 n1 , p11 ; Jan-Feb 2010
Presents 2010 cost trends prediction for construction materials, including lumber, concrete, aluminum sheet, structural steel, and copper.

Project Labor Agreements’ Effect on School Construction Costs in Massachusetts.
Belman, Dale; Ormiston, Russell; Kelso, Richard; Schriver, William; Frank, Kenneth A.
Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society; v49 n1 , p44-60 ; Jan 2010
This paper investigates the impact of Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) on school construction cost in Massachusetts. Although simple models exhibit a large positive effect of PLAs on construction costs, such effects are absent from more completely specified models. Further investigation finds sufficient dissimilarity in schools built with and without PLAs that it is difficult to distinguish the cost effects of PLAs from the cost effects of factors that underlie the use of PLAs. [Authors' abstract]

Collaboration: A Better Way to Quality, Efficiency and Value in Construction.
Cherafat, Ramin
Laboratory Design; v15 n1 , p1,4,5 ; Jan 2010
Discusses inclusion of a construction manager when building laboratories, and that person's role in potential modular construction, building in future flexibility, and fast tracking the project.

Architects and Design-Phase Cost Estimates. Adobe PDF
Coakley, John
Educational Facility Planner; v44 n4 , p30-32 ; 2010
Emphasizes the importance of cost estimates being done by independent estimators. The articles provides responses to the usual client arguments for not doing so.

When Funding is Scarce: Making the Best Use of Existing Facilities. Adobe PDF
Yurko, Amy
Educational Facility Planner; v44 n2/3 , p21-24 ; 2010
Offers an array of guidelines for determining renovation and adaptation needs in a school facility's operational considerations, time and schedules, facility modifications, and found spaces, and makes specific suggestions for most cost-effective solutions.

Construction Cost Trends for 2009. Adobe PDF
Design Cost Data; v53 n6 , p33 ; Nov-Dec 2009
Illustrates 2009 cost trends for construction materials overall, as well as for adhesives and sealants, wood siding and shingles, vinyl floor covering, granite, and optic cable individually.

The DCD LEED Square Foot Cost Guide. Adobe PDF
Design Cost Data; v53 n6 , p28,29 ; Nov-Dec 2009
Focuses on square foot cost for a variety of LEED-certified building types, including ten educational facilities.

Estimating Projects Seeking LEED Certification-An Update.
Perryman, Joseph
Design Cost Data; v53 n6 , p6,8 ; Nov-Dec 2009
Advises on engaging a LEED consultant as early as possible in a building's concept design stage. The consultant can help determine what LEED points are attainable with the project, and what each category of points will cost.

Construction Cost Trends for 2009. Adobe PDF
Design Cost Data; v53 n5 , p11 ; Sep 2009
Charts 2009 cost trends for all construction materials, with individual charts for sand and gravel, clay and ceramic, rubber products, millwork, and limestone.

Construction Cost Trends for 2009. Adobe PDF
Design Cost Data; v53 n4 , p12 ; Jul-Aug 2009
Charts 2009 cost trends for all construction materials, with individual charts for concrete block, glass, hot rolled steel bar, crushed stone, and precast concrete.

K-12 Schools Report.
Building Design and Construction; v50 n7 , p24,25 ; Jul 2009
Briefly reviews K-12 school construction trends, then ranks the top 20 K-12 school design firms and top 20 K-12 school building contractors according to billings.

University Report.
Building Design and Construction; v50 n7 , p22,23 ; Jul 2009
Reports rising university construction spending, mostly for residence halls and infrastructure. The top 20 university design firms and top 20 university contractors, according to billings, are listed.

Paying for Green.
Appel, Margo
American School Board Journal; v196 n7 , p24,25 ; Jul 2009
Describes funding options for the initial costs for creating a sustainable school facility, with six principles of financing that focus on analyzing life cycle costs and assessing creating long-term savings. Examples from three school districts are included.

Alternative School Construction Methods.
Baty, Jim; Blyth, Todd
School Planning and Management; v48 n7 , p34-37 ; Jul 2009
Discusses the use of insulated concrete forms, modular units, and tilt-up concrete in school construction. The advantages to energy efficiency, construction speed, and cost are cited.

Lab Building Costs Plummet with Economy.
Hammer, Ted
Laboratory Design; v14 n7 , p1-4 ; Jul 2009
Outlines reasons for declining square foot construction costs for research laboratories, as well as the availability of federal stimulus funds for the same. A table illustrating 2008 and 2009 costs for various types of laboratories is included.

Construction Tips to Reduce Operating and Maintenance Costs.
McCarthy, J.
Facility Management Journal; v19 n4 , p79,80,82 ; Jul-Aug 2009
Discusses changes that facility managers can suggest during the construction phase that may reduce operating costs. These include design of curbs and sidewalks, plumbing and fire protection systems zoning, freight elevator size, and standardization and reduction of numbers of light fixtures. Advice on gaining acceptance by the design and construction personnel and effective timing of requests is included.

Piecing it Together.
Milshtein, Amy
College Planning and Management; v12 n7 , p37-39 ; Jul 2009
Discusses the use of insulated concrete forms and modular units in higher education construction. The advantages to energy efficiency, construction speed, and cost are cited, along with an example of a modular-built dormitory at the University of Scranton.

The Long and the Cost of it.
Milshtein, Amy
College Planning and Management; v12 n6 , p32,34,36 ; Jun 2009
Examines higher education building decisions in the light of the current tight economy and payback time for improvements that reduce operating costs. The costs versus payback time of several technologies are weighed, and strategies for capturing the greatest benefit from new technology are included.

Construction Cost Trends for 2009. Adobe PDF
Design Cost Data; v53 n3 , p16 ; May 2009
Presents 2009 cost trends for construction materials, carpet, paint, stainless steel, common brick and playwood.

35th Annual Official Education Construction Report.
Agron, Joe
American School and University; v81 n10 , p20,22-27 ; May 2009
Presents findings from an annual report on education construction, showing that the total amount of education construction put in place in 2008 was $43.3 billion, up from $32.9 billion in 2007. New construction spending by K-12 institutions grew 18 percent and addition/modernization spending jumped 46 percent. Higher education institutions spent $17.8 billion on construction in 2008, up from $12.7 billion in 2007. Numerous tables and charts illustrate historical, current, and future construction spending by building type, institution type, and region.

Construction Cost Trends for 2009. Adobe PDF
Design Cost Data; v53 n2 , p11 ; Mar-Apr 2009
Presents 2009 cost trends for construction materials, batt insulation, PVC piping, asphalt, gypsum board, and ductile iron pipe.

Cost Control: Managing School Construction Expenditures in a Rapidly Changing Environment.
Kennedy, Mike
American School and University; v81 n7 , p18-20,22,24 ; Mar 2009
Cites numerous instances where recent construction bids for new schools came in below estimates, due to the decline in the economy. Issues affecting school construction costs such as site selection, regulations, design, and regional market conditions are explored.

Tough Times, Silver Lining: Builders Lower their Bids.
Carlson, Scott
The Chronicle of Higher Education; v55 n23 , pA1,A22 ; Feb 13, 2009
Reflects on how the current decrease in construction activity could mean savings for colleges with the money to build now. Bids significantly below what were anticipated are not uncommon, as construction firms aggressively seek work and the cost of building materials has declined.

2009 Annual College Construction Report. Adobe PDF
Abramson, Paul
College Planning and Management; v12 n2 , pCR1-CR8 ; Feb 2009
Reports that higher education construction completed in 2008 totaled $13.3 billion, representing a decline from 2007. New construction accounted for $9.35 billion, while expansion and renovation accounted for $3.95 billion. Tables illustrate historical data for 1995-2008, breakouts of data for 12 geographical regions, projected 2009 completions and starts, expenditures by building type, where renovation dollars are being spent, and square foot costs.

2009 School Construction Report. Adobe PDF
Abramson, Paul
School Planning and Management; v48 n2 , pCR1-CR16 ; Feb 2009
Reports that school construction completed in 2008 was just over $19.5 billion. Almost $13 billion was spent on new schools, while $6.5 billion went to expansion and renovation of existing schools. Accompanying information for 12 geographic regions include 2008 data and projected 2009 school completions. Additional tables present data on spending according to grade level, building type, school size, amenities that are being included in today s schools, regional breakouts, and trends in costs since 1995.

Beating the Odds by Spreading the Word.
Maue, Jean; Tongay, Bill
School Planning and Management; v48 n2 , p42-45 ; Feb 2009
Describes how the Edwardsville (Illinois) Community Unit School District 7 constructed much needed new schools in record time through contractor awareness and pre- qualification, a regularly updated website that posted bid documents and dates, incentives to contractors for on-time completion, and abundant communication between all parties.

Construction Cost Trends for 2009. Adobe PDF
Design Cost Data; v53 n1 , p11 ; Jan-Feb 2009
Presents 2009 cost trends prediction for construction materials, including cement and concrete, aluminum sheet, structural steel, lumber, and copper. Decreases are anticipated in all areas except cement and structural steel.

The DCD Educational Square Foot Cost Guide. Adobe PDF
Design Cost Data; v53 n1 , p12 ; Jan-Feb 2009
Summarizes Square foot cost data for 17 new and renovated educational buildings, including elementary school, middle school, high school, and university facilities.

Cost Concerns, Economic Anxieties Put Construction on Shaky Ground.
Ash, Katie
Education Week; v28 n18 , p1, 10-11 ; Jan 2009
This article reports that years of rising fuel and materials costs, compounded by current budget shortfalls and uncertainty about the marketability of construction bonds, have made school facilities directors eager to reap the benefits of President Barack Obama's economic-recovery initiative, which is slated to include federal money for building and modernizing schools. The Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives released their version of the bill on Jan. 15. It would set aside $14 billion for local school districts for a school modernization and repair program, which includes technology upgrades and energy-efficiency improvements. Although no official date has been set for final action on an economic-recovery plan, the Senate will also offer its own version of such legislation.

Finished in a Flash.
Sturgeon, Julie
University Business; v12 n1 , p34-37 ; Jan 2009
Discusses how fast-tracking construction and bundling projects for higher education construction. Examples from several campuses illustrate how labor costs can be higher due to overtime, how compressing the schedule can lead to fewer cost overruns in general, and how construction must proceed while design is perhaps only slightly ahead.

Solutions for the Design Vs. Budget Challenge.
Kollie, Ellen
College Planning and Management; v11 n12 , p20-22 ; Dec 2008
Advises on how to reconcile higher education facility design "wants" with actual "needs" and with the budget available. Cooperation between administration and faculty, cost modeling, creating multifunctional spaces, and adding "upgrades" later, as the budget permints, are described.

Construction Cost Trends for 2008. Adobe PDF
Design Cost Data; v52 n6 , p20,21 ; Nov-Dec 2008
Presents 2008 cost trends for construction materials, including vinyl flooring, adhesives and sealants, wood siding and shingles, granite, and optic cable.

Kitchen Construction Costs Are Still Rising.
Fickes, Michael
College Planning and Management; v11 n11 , p47-50 ; Nov 2008
Discusses how costs for constructing culinary school kitchens has risen dramatically, largely due to a 50 percent rise in steel costs in the last six years. Recent slackening of demand for building products has helped costs to level off or even decline slightly.

Efficient Resolution of Construction Disputes: Alternative Dispute Resolution.
O Leary, Arthur
Design Cost Data; v52 n6 , p8,10,22 ; Nov-Dec 2008
Discusses negotiation, mediation, and arbitration as an alternative to traditional legal proceedings in a construction dispute. Professional counsel may or may not be involved in these proceedings, depending on the competency of the litigants and the size of the case. In negotiation and mediation, the litigants have the most influence because voluntary concurrence is required.

Green on a Budget. Adobe PDF
Nicklas, Michael
High Performing Buildings; , p6-8,10-12,14-16 ; Fall 2008
Discusses sustainable building features that actually cost less or only slightly more than nonsustainble ones. These include proper orientation on the site and reduction of impermeable surfaces, daylighting, light colors and radiant barriers in building exteriors and interiors, photovoltaic systems, and thoughtfully designed HVAC systems with proper load and minimal turns, rainwater catchment.

After $74-million and Counting, Frank Gehry's Library Opens at Princeton.
Carlson, Scott
The Chronicle of Higher Education; v55 n4 , pA13 ; Sep 19, 2008
Profiles this high-profile new science library that was beset by construction delays, scandals, and extraordinary construction costs.

Construction Cost Trends for 2008. Adobe PDF
Design Cost Data; v52 n5 , p22 ; Sep-Oct 2008
Illustrates with graphs the Producer Price Index 2004-2008 figures for construction materials overall, as well as breakouts for rubber products, millwork, sand and gravel, clay and ceramic, and limestone.

Spend More Now to Save Big in the Long Run.
Burris, Christopher
Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce; Aug 28, 2008
Discusses using a four-dimensional cost model (4DCM) to combine capital and operational costs to assess the total cost of a school building over time.

Lab Rehab Costs Rivaling Those of New Construction.
Hammer, Ted
Laboratory Design; v13 n8 , p1,7,8 ; Aug 2008
Discusses costs for laboratory renovation and for new laboratories in international markets. 2007 cost increases for laboratories in 15 disciplines are included.

Construction Cost Trends for 2008. Adobe PDF
Design Cost Data; v52 n4 , p14 ; Jul-Aug 2008
Illustrates with graphs the Producer Price Index 2004-2008 figures for construction materials overall, as well as breakouts for hot rolled steel bar, glass, crushed stone, precast concrete, and concrete block.

Construction Boom Pumps up New Lab Building Costs.
Hammer, Ted
Laboratory Design; v13 n7 , p1,2,4-6 ; Jul 2008
Reports on rising laboratory construction prices due to competition within the construction industry and rising oil prices, with coastal locations experiencing twice as much an increase as those in the interior. Charts illustrate distribution of construction costs by building trade, as well as varying 2007 and 2008 dollars per square foot costs for laboratories according to their discipline.

Hidden Risks in the Current Construction Environment.
Himes, Paul
Buildings; v102 n7 , p116-118 ; Jul 2008
Details prevalent risks to the owner of a construction project, including subcontractor default, contractor default, schedule delays, material security, materials substitution, and increased claims.

A Concrete Solution.
Clary, Carl; Golden, Joe
School Planning and Management; v47 n6 , p56,58-61 ; Jun 2008
Cites the virtues of precast concrete for school construction. These include lower construction costs, shorter construction time, high seismic and blast resistance, a wide variety of design options, and acoustical isolation.

34th Annual Construction Report.
Agron, Joe
American School and University; v80 n9 , p27,28,32,34,36,38,40 ; May 2008
Presents findings from an annual report on education construction, showing that the total amount of education construction put in place in 2007 was $32.9 billion, down from $36.6 billion in 2006. While K-12 construction declined from $25.3 to $20.3 billion, higher education construction rose from $11.3 billion to $12.7 billion. Numerous tables and charts illustrate historical, current, and future construction spending by building type, institution type, and region.

The Construction Equation.
Arsht, Steven
American School and University; v80 n8 , p16-20 ; Apr 2008
Discusses accurate cost estimating for school construction, including adequate contingency funds, effective procurement strategies, and inclusion of funds for LEED certification.

Crunching the Numbers for LEED K-12 Schools.
Willson, Myron; Haxton, Bruce; Beckstead, Glen; Hjorth-Vlasic, Margareta
School Planning and Management; v47 n4 , p15,26,28,32,34,35 ; Apr 2008
Suggests a process for estimating the costs of building a new LEED-certified schools, beginning with client goals and continuing through the design and construction process. Maintaining alignment between client budget and goals is emphasized.

Construction Cost Trends for 2008. Adobe PDF
Design Cost Data; v52 n2 , p18 ; Mar-Apr 2008
Presents 2008 cost trends for construction materials, including lumber, asphalt, iron and PVC pipe, gypsum board, and batt insulation.

How Inflation Erodes School Construction.
Abramson, Paul
School Planning and Management; v47 n3 , p70 ; Mar 2008
Illustrates how the record $20.7 billion spent on school construction in 2007 is actually less, in real dollars, than in 1974, due to inflation.

Districts Buying Power: Spending on Construction and Renovation.
Dyrli, Odvard
District Administration; v44 n4 , p52-54,56,58 ; Mar 2008
Presents the results of a survey of school district spending on construction and renovation, indicating that U.S. school districts spent $23.77 billion in 2006-2007, representing expenditures by 86% of school districts. The average school district spent $3 million. Charts detail the types of expenditures, construction completed and underway, numbers and types of survey respondents, factors driving construction, and district use of design and construction services.

Imperfect Contract Documents: Who Pays for the Errors?
O Leary, Arthur
Design Cost Data; v52 n2 , p6,8,9 ; Mar-Apr 2008
Discusses coverage of mistakes in construction documents, considering when the architect should pay costs associated with errors related to their mistakes, and when they should not be held liable for errors attributed to the owner or contractor. Measuring the amount of liability to be assessed to the client, architect, and contractor is discussed, as are typical insurance carried by architects and recommendations to owners as to how to anticipate and prepare for extra costs and delays.

2008 Annual College Construction Report. Adobe PDF
Abramson, Paul
College Planning and Management; v11 n2 , pC1-C8 ; Feb 2008
Reports that higher education construction completed in 2007 totaled $14.5 billion, representing a slight decline from 2006. New construction accounted for $10.2 billion, while expansion and renovation accounted for $4.3 billion. Tables illustrate historical data for 1995-2007, breakouts of data for 12 geographical regions, projected 2008 completions and starts, expenditures by building type, where renovation dollars are being spent, and square foot costs.

2008 Annual School Construction Report. Adobe PDF
Abramson, Paul
School Planning and Management; v47 n2 , pC1-C16 ; Feb 2008
Reports that school construction completed in 2007 was just over $20 billion. $13.1 billion was spent on new schools, while $7.6 billion went to expansion and renovation of existing schools. Accompanying information for 12 geographic regions include 2007 data and projected 2008 school completions. Additional tables present data on spending according to grade level, building type, school size, amenities that are being included in today s schools, regional breakouts, and trends in costs since 1995.

Estimating Sustainable Projects Estimating Sustainable Projects. Planning, Experience Key to Keeping Green in Black.
Schwartz, Karen
Midwest Construction ; Feb 2008
This describes how to calculate costs associated with green projects. Owner commitment may help keep the costs of sustainable projects down, and sourcing materials within 500 miles should reduce transportation costs.

Constructive Criticism.
Trainor, Charles
American School Board Journal; v195 n2 , p42, 43 ; Feb 2008
Discusses oversight of school construction contractors to assure safe work that follows specifications. Hiring of a knowledgeable clerk or construction manager is recommended, and their qualifications and duties are cited. Oversight of expenses and regular site visits by the school board are encouraged, as is strict security at the jobsite.
TO ORDER: American School Board Journal, 1680 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA 22314; Tel: 703-838-6722

Providing the Tools for a 21st Century Education.
Abramson, Paul
School Planning and Management; v47 n1 , p110 ; Jan 2008
Analyzes recent statistics on cost and size of new high school construction in the U.S., with many costing close to $100 million. Size, space per student, and construction costs in particular states are cited as reasons.

The Cost and Value of Green Buildings.
Doo, Peter
College Planning and Management; v10 n10 , p29,30,32,34 ; Oct 2007
Discusses average construction cost increases to achieve the various LEED certification levels. These are typically lower than owners perceive that they will be at the outset, but sustainability features must be integral to the design, not merely an overlay. Assigning value to elements of sustainability, calculating return on the investment, and advice on pursuing certification are included.

Ten Ideas for Coping with Rising Construction Costs.
Cecchini, Dennis
School Construction News; v10 n6 , p33,34 ; Sep-Oct 2007
Presents ideas for handling the nearly 50% increase in school construction costs over the last three years. These ideas involve maximizing the project delivery method, negotiating guaranteed prices, using designers and consultants with school experience, and close cooperation between all project participants and neighboring districts.

Design-Build: A Good Tool for School Construction? Adobe PDF
Westmoreland, David
School Construction News; v10 n6 , p16 ; Sep-Oct 2007
Discusses the advantages of the design-build project delivery method, it,s increasing availability to governments due to recent legislation, and five questions that school districts considering this method should ask others who have already done so.

From Headaches to Lawsuits.
Fickes, Michael
School Planning and Management; v46 n8 , p20-23 ; Aug 2007
Reviews situations in new school construction that can escalate from inconvenience to litigation. These include site selection, project delays, cost overruns, improper contracting, and poor workmanship.

Lab Rehab Costs Rising to Approach Those of New Construction.
Stark, Stanley
Laboratory Design; v12 n8 , p1-4 ; Aug 2007
Reviews rising laboratory renovation costs internationally, with tables illustrating 2006 and 2007 figures according to laboratory type, cost increases for 22 metropolitan areas worldwide, and New York City costs for twelve small-scale refurbishments.

K-12 Schools Report.
Building Design and Construction; v48 n9 , p48,49 ; Jul 2007
Briefly reviews K-12 school construction trends, then ranks the top 20 K-12 school design firms and top 20 K-12 school building contractors according to their 2006 revenue.

University Report.
Building Design and Construction; v48 n9 , p50,51 ; Jul 2007
Briefly reviews higher education construction trends, then ranks the top 20 higher education design firms and top 20 K-12 higher education building contractors according to their 2006 revenue.

Construction Boom Pumps up New Lab Building Costs.
Stark, Stanley
Laboratory Design; v12 n7 , p1-6 ; Jul 2007
Reviews increased research laboratory construction costs for 2007, citing rising oil and commodity prices, as well as more aggressive labor demands. Tables comparing costs for various laboratory types and metropolitan areas are included.

Lois E. Borchardt Elementary School. Adobe PDF
CASH Register; v28 n5 , p12 ; May 2007
Profiles this California school built on a hardship budget. Tilt-up construction yielded an economical solution that included generous windows to help daylight the interior.

33rd Annual Official Education Construction Report. Adobe PDF
Agron, Joe
American School and University; v79 n10 , p26,27,30,32,34,36,38 ; May 2007
Presents findings from an annual report on education construction, showing that the total amount of education construction put in place in 2006 was $36.6 billion, down slightly from $37.5 billion in 2005. While K-12 construction rose from $23 to $25.3 billion, higher education construction from $14.6 billion to 11.3 billion. Numerous tables and charts illustrate historical, current, and future construction spending by building type, institution type, and region

More Sticker Shock.
Fickes, Michael
School Planning and Management; v46 n5 , p20,22,23 ; May 2007
Reviews reasons for significant school construction cost due to dramatic increases in materials costs in the last four years. Competition for materials from fast-growing foreign economies and labor unrest in significant copper-producing areas are two reasons cited.

Quick Work.
Twomey, Mark
American School and University; v79 n10 , p51-53 ; May 2007
Reviews tactics of fast-track building of school facilities, including pre-ordering equipment and materials, beginning construction before design is completed, and project delivery methods that can accommodate fast-track building. The risks and advantages of fast-track are discussed, and examples of two successful fast-tracked university buildings are provided.

RSMeans Costs Comparisons: College Labs, Classrooms, Dorms, Student Unions
Building Design + Construction; v48 n5 , p31 ; Apr 2007
Cost comparisons between 2006 and 2007 in dollars per square foot for college labs, college classrooms, dorms, and student union from a sampling of cities.

Cost Analysis of LEED for K-12 Schools.
Haxton, Bruce; Beckstead, Glen; Cecchini, Dennis
School Planning and Management; v46 n4 , pG10,G12,G14,G16 ; Apr 2007
Advises on cost controls for designers of high performance "green" schools. Processes for projects without a site selected, with a site already selected, with fixed budgets, or with LEED goals and no fixed budget are discussed, as are project supervision, LEED submission procedures, and general cost guidelines for the various LEED levels.

Is Precast Concrete Right for Your Next Project?
Kollie, Ellen
College Planning and Management; v10 n4 , p22,24,26 ; Apr 2007
Reviews desirable features of precast concrete with particular attention to its application in educational facilities. Aesthetic and exterior versatility, design flexibility, durability, fast construction, safety and security, sustainability, and cost are covered.

Green School Economics.
Architecture Week; , p E1 1 ; Mar 14, 2007
Despite the widespread belief that green buildings are much more expensive than conventional ones, a report of 30 green schools (LEED certified or equivalent) "demonstrates that green schools cost less than 2 percent more than conventional schools... but provide financial benefits that are 20 times as large [as that difference]."

Q & A: State of the Market. DLR, Heery Architects Say the School Construction Market Will Continue to be Strong.
Crawford, Matthew
School Construction News; Mar-Apr 2007
There is still a strong need for school construction in the United States due to a number of factors. The topic is at the forefront of political agendas nationally and locally, along with sustainable design, and supply-and-demand issues in the construction market. Tom Penney, a project leader at DLR Group, and Ralph Rohwer, Heery’s international program director, both say the school planning and construction market will continue to be strong for at least the near future.

Money Concerns Come First.
Abramson, Paul
School Planning and Management; v46 n2 , p74 ; Feb 2007
Reviews some situations where cost-saving schemes have inappropriately superceded educational concerns.

School Planning and Management Construction Report 2007. Adobe PDF
Abramson, Paul
School Planning and Management; v46 n2 , pC1-C16 ; Feb 2007
Reports that school construction completed in 2006 was just over $20 billion. $12.3 billion was spent on new schools, while $7.78 billion went to expansion and renovation of existing schools. Accompanying information for 12 geographic regions include 2006 data and projected 2007 school completions. Additional tables present data on spending according to grade level, building type, school size, and amenities that are being included in today s schools

College Planning and Management Construction Report 2007. Adobe PDF
Abramson, Paul.
College Planning and Management; v10 n2 , pC1-C8 ; Feb 2007
Reports that higher education construction completed in 2006 totaled over $15 billion, representing a new one-year record. New construction accounted for $9.8 billion, while expansion and renovation accounted for $4.7 billion. While only 1/3 of all the nation s colleges report that they are currently in "construction mode," many of those not currently building are involved in capital campaigns for future projects. Tables illustrate historical data for 1995-2006, breakouts of data for 12 geographical regions, projected 200y completions and starts, and expenditures by building type.

The DCD Sq. Ft. Construction Guide for Educational Buildings. Adobe PDF
Design Cost Data; v51 n1 , p22,23 ; Jan-Feb 2007
Provides brief size and cost statistics for 21 K-12 and 3 higher education buildings.

Avoiding Change Orders in Public School Construction
Günhan, Suat; Arditi, David; and Doyle, Jacqueline
Journal of Professional Issues in Engineering Education and Practice; v133 n1 , p67-73 ; Jan 2007
Increased student enrollment and the current poor state of the educational infrastructure require the construction of more school buildings and the renovation of many of the existing ones. The large number and magnitude of change orders in these projects constitute an impediment to the rapid and economic delivery of these projects. A total of 6,585 change orders filed in a school district's projects in the 5 1/2 year period from 1999 to 2004 were analyzed in five categories including owner-directed changes, code compliance issues, errors/omissions in contract documents, discovered or changed conditions, and others. The results of the study indicate that the dollar value of change orders relative to the original contract can be reduced if preventive measures are taken. These measures include choosing the right construction management firm, emphasizing the definition of project scope early in the project, and effectively managing the precontract activities by conducting value engineering and constructability reviews. The results indicate that school projects can be completed with change orders not exceeding 5% of the contract value if these measures are taken. This study is of relevance to practitioners involved in school design and construction projects. [Authors' abstract]

Building Understanding.
Kocher, Erik
Athletic Business; v31 n1 , p43-47 ; Jan 2007
Discusses construction project management at length, including timing, assessing, and securing the bids; contingency funding; liquiditated damages to cover delays; contractor- generated voluntary alternates; timing, funding, and reducing the number of change orders; and keeping the project out of litigation when disputes arise.

Lifetime Costs of Real Capital Ownership.
Biehle, James
School Planning and Management; v45 n12 , pF9-F13 ; Dec 2006
Advises serious consideration of life cycle costs when planning school construction and renovation, advocating tolerance of higher construction costs when life cycle cost savings justify it. Examples of cost-saving design features and systems are included.

All Costs Considered.
Athletic Business; v30 n12 , p82-85 ; Dec 2006
Reviews "macro" and "micro" building decisions which can dramatically impact the cost of a campus athletic facility. Macro decisions include floor plan and volume efficiency. Micro decisions include roofing, interior partitions, floor coverings, acoustical systems, and pool design. Site investigation and Construction Manager project management are also considered.

Middle Schools, High Schools, and Cultural Facilities Lead Education Spending.
Haughey, Jim
Building Design + Construction; , p23 ; Nov 2006
The value of education construction starts increased 17.7% during the first nine months of 2006 compared to the same period last year, according to Reed Construction Data. Rapidly growing project sectors include middle schools; high schools; private K-12 schools; and cultural facilities. Despite a slow 2006 due to high materials costs, construction spending on education projects is expected to return to nearly a 10% annual growth rate for 2007. The expansion will be driven by a slowdown in materials cost inflation, much improved state budget balances, and the recent surge in new project starts. The demographic enrollment bulge is now in the ninth grade so spending for both middle and high schools will continue to be relatively strong through 2008.

Battling Budgets.
White, Stacey
American School and University; v79 n3 , p318,319 ; Nov 2006
Addresses capital program expenditures in the current situation of increasing prices, increased competition for students, and increased student expectations. Choosing specific projects to be "showcase" examples, using common materials in creative ways, and sustainable design are covered.

The Charge for Change.
Henrikson, Jennifer; Henry, Jody
American School and University; v79 n2 , p40,42,43 ; Oct 2006
Discusses low- or no-cost methods of achieving sustainable design, such as proper building orientation, rainwater capture, and native plantings.

Building Schools in Phases. Adobe PDF
Hoyle, Terry; Sockwell, Keith
American School Board Journal; v193 n10 , p36-38 ; Oct 2006
Describes multi-phasing in school construction, where subsequent phases of new construction and expansion are contracted as one project, thus locking in the costs of construction and equipment. A detailed case study from Texas' Northwest Independent School District is included.
TO ORDER: American School Board Journal, 1680 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA 22314; Tel: 703-838-6722

Smart Spending.
Kennedy, Mike
American School and University; v79 n2 , p1616-18,20,22,23 ; Oct 2006
Highlights school construction savings strategies such as creating schools that also serve multiple purposes to the community and preservation and re-use of equipment and furnishings after a renovation.

Understanding School Construction Project Costs.
Laughlin, Bill
School Construction News; v9 n6 , p18,19 ; Sep-Oct 2006
Advises on how to properly interpret data, continuously communicate progress, and anticipate inflation, all in an effort to avoid cost overruns and bad publicity for school projects. Common misconceptions in estimating, market escalation, strategies for scope and budget buy-in, strategies for town meetings and consensus, and budgeting for the future are covered.

Negotiating Win-Win A/E Professional Services Agreements.
Ahoy, Christopher; Chrusciel, Donald
Facilities Manager; v22 n4 , p66-68,70 ; Jul-Aug 2006
Describes research conducted with architecture and engineering firms to determine what service these professionals considered basic, and to be provided under a typical contract, and what they considered extra, to be provided at extra cost. The goal was to determine where an institution and A/E firm might find common ground in initiating a contract. The complexities of these relationships was apparent and a basic service guide check sheet and fee-calculating chart is recommended.

Why Construction Safety Is Important.
Emmons, Jim
Facilities Manager; v22 n4 , p60-64 ; Jul-Aug 2006
Reviews the owner's role in construction safety, and advises on how the owner can work with the contractor to encourage the contractor's obligations under safety regulations. The elements of a contractor safety program that can control the owner's risks are detailed, and suggestions on how to find a contractor with a good safety culture are offered.

Many Schools Getting Less Bang for Bonds.
Perez, Erica; Miller, Sam; Leal, Fermin
Orange County Register; Jun 18, 2006
Reports on construction cutbacks in 12 of the 19 Orange County, California, school districts that have passed bonds since 1990. Price increases, mismanagement, lack of oversight, overly ambitious promises, and a lack of construction culture in some districts are described with examples from specific districts. The lessons learned in districts with the most egregious shortfalls are included.

Riding the Rollercoaster.
Mardock, Mark
School Planning and Management; v45 n6 , p40-43 ; Jun 2006
Advises school systems on how to cope with skyrocketing construction costs. Explanations for the increases are followed by best practices that include prioritizing everything in the program, examining and locking in soft costs, careful scheduling of projects and interim facilities, examining escalation clauses carefully, planning for the inevitable with flexibility in the bond package, and organizing the bid to generate the best competition.

Stalled Momentum: American School and University 32nd Annual Official Education Construction Report 2006.
Agron, Joe
American School and University; v78 n10 , p24,26,29,30,32-34,36 ; May 2006
Presents findings from an annual report on education construction, showing that the total amount of education construction put in place in 2005 was $37.5 billion, down from $41.3 billion in 2004. While K-12 construction fell from $29.1 to $23 billion, higher education construction rose from $12.2 to $14.6 billion. Numerous tables and charts illustrate historical, current, and future construction spending by building type, institution type, and region.

Overcoming Obstacles.
Kennedy, Mike
American School and University; v78 n10 , p16-18,20,22 ; May 2006
Discusses potential environmental, historical, and neighborhood obstacles to school construction, citing examples of how several school districts and universities have dealt with expected and unexpected situations that arose.

Green Building Survey Shows Increased Interest in K-12 Realm.
School Planning and Management; v45 n4 , pG3,G4,G6,G8 ; Apr 2006
Discusses recent findings indicating that a large percentage of construction executives prefer "green" K-12 facilities. The benefits include better community image, better teacher retention, reduced absenteeism, and increased student performance. Construction costs are typically not as high above traditional construction costs as imagined, and are more than offset by reduced operating costs.

Ambitious but Affordable.
Kennedy, Mike
American School and University; v78 n7 , p20-22,24,26 ; Mar 2006
Explains how several owners obtained outstanding educational facilities, even though the budget required a reduction from the original vision for the building. Areas for saving that do not diminish educational effectiveness include use of less expensive materials in discreet areas, and use of Construction Manager At Risk project management.

Steel Prices Start To Settle Down.
Engineering News Record; Feb 27, 2006
Structural steel prices have leveled off after posting strong gains last year. The average price for wide-flange, channel and I-beams fell 1% during the first two months of 2006. This is a modest rollback compared to the 10% price increase during the last four months of 2005. As a result, structural steel prices remain 13% above a year ago. Reinforcing bar prices have followed a similar curve. However, the impact on year-to-year rebar price increases has been less severe due to falling price levels in early 2005.

College Planning and Management Construction Report 2006. Adobe PDF
Abramson, Paul
College Planning and Management; v9 n2 , pC1-C8 ; Feb 2006
Reports that higher education construction completed in 2005 totaled over $14.5 billion, representing a new one-year record. New construction accounted for $9.8 billion, while expansion and renovation accounted for $4.7 billion. Two out of three colleges reported on construction activity, meaning that this figure represents activity at only 1/3 of reporting institutions. Tables illustrate historical data for 1995-2004, and breakouts of data for 12 geographical regions, projected 2006 completions and starts, and expenditures by building type.

School Planning and Management Construction Report 2006. Adobe PDF
Abramson, Paul
School Planning and Management; v45 n2 , pC1-C16 ; Feb 2006
Reports that school construction completed in 2005 was over $21.6 billion, which is a single-year record. $12.8 billion was spent on new schools, while $8.8 went to expansion and renovation of existing schools. Accompanying information for 12 geographic regions include 2005 data and projected 2006 school completions. Additional tables present data on spending according to grade level, building type, school size, and amenities that are being included in today's schools.

Controlling Construction Costs.
Sturgeon, Julie
District Administration; v42 n2 ; Feb 2006
Describes various instances of fraud with school construction funds and some of the mechanisms by which they are typically perpetrated. Suggestions for creating proper checks and balances to stop fraud before it happens are accompanied by a nine-item list of ways to spot potential fraud.

Betting on Bonds
Agron, Joe
American School and University; Jan 2006
This looks at school construction bond referenda proposed and passed in 2005. A bond proposal signifies an institution's need for capital funds; it's passage is a barometer of the public's support of school infrastructure issues. Of the 667 school construction bond issues proposed in 2005, 60.6 percent were passed (representing more than $17 billion). The percentage is down slightly from the 69.9 percent approved in 2004. Total-dollar amount of school construction referenda passed in 2005 was down from the almost $35 billion approved the year before. Much of the difference can be attributed to California's massive $12.3 billion statewide initiative passed in 2004.

First Cost vs. Life-Cycle Costs.
Dolan, Thomas
School Planning and Management; v45 n1 , p74,75 ; Jan 2006
Urges accommodation of small increases in building costs that can obtain life cycle cost savings of 10-25 percent. Typical ways that school systems are realizing these savings are highlighted.

Costs Remain High As Escalation Peaks. McGraw Hill Fourth Quarterly Cost Report.
Grogan, Tim
ENR: Engineering News-Record; Dec 19, 2005
Contractors should get some relief in 2006 from two years of intense material price escalation. The explosion in steel prices in 2004 was followed by stiff price hikes for cement and lumber. This year, gypsum wallboard and energy, plastic and copper-based products all posted large double-digit price hikes. An anticipated slowdown in the housing market combined with increased imports and producer capacity will put a cap on escalation. However, price declines will be modest compared to the increases of 2004 and 2005.

Construction Costs: Is Your School Project at Risk?
Sturgeon, Julie
District Administration; v41 n12 ; Dec 2005
Discusses recent increases in school construction material costs, possibly to be exacerbated by hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Increases for steel, gypsum, cement, and PVC pipe are cited, with anticipated rises in labor costs being considered an equal threat.

Material Efficiency.
DePatta, Joe
School Construction News; v8 n7 , p14,15 ; Nov-Dec 2005
Presents an interview with architect Christopher Huckabee that highlights the virtues of total masonry construction, design and construction techniques that conform to standardized materials, and redundancy in building systems for safety and reliability.

How Much Will the Perfect Disaster Cost?
Fickes, Michael
School Planning and Management; v44 n11 , p15,16,18,19 ; Nov 2005
Estimates the cost of rebuilding Lousiana and Mississippi schools after Hurricane Katrina at 2.3 billion. The shortage of labor, equipment, and supplies contributes to higher than average costs, but quality schools are considered an essential factor in the population's decision to return.

Order Up.
Gibeault, Michel
American School and University; v78 n3 , p288,289 ; Nov 2005
Discusses change orders originating from unforseen conditions, design-related changes, and changes in project scope. Tips for minimizing them through sophisticated site investigation, allocated risk, and effective contracting are offered.

On Target.
Levien, Kenneth
American School and University; v78 n3 , p290,291 ; Nov 2005
Describes benefits of engaging a project manager for school construction projects, citing the positive experience of a Brooklyn private school that completed a complicated renovation.

All Systems Go.
Milshtein, Amy
School Planning and Management; v44 n11 , p25-27 ; Nov 2005
Discusses recent evolutions in building systems that help lower construction and energy costs, including sustainable design, better roofing, and modular design.

Ready and Able.
Osborn, John
American School and University; v78 n3 , p292,293 ; Nov 2005
Reviews the construction bidding constraints under which many school districts operate, recommends a construction manager to coordinate work, and outlines ten typical construction "sins," that can be resolved by proper advanced planning, project management, scheduling, understanding of local conditions, dispute resolution, and quality control.

Beware the Cost Cutters.
Abramson, Paul
School Planning and Management; v44 n10 , p54 ; Oct 2005
In virtually every school construction project, there comes a time when the desires of the educators clash with the realities of the budget. Typically, construction managers and architects point out opportunities for savings. Unfortunately, they do not always weigh the educational consequences of their choices, and this article advises protection of educational programs when budget-cutting is in progress.

Lab Construction Costs up 6% for 2005.
Building Design and Construction; v46 n9 , p50-52 ; Sep 2005
Details rising costs for laboratories due to higher construction costs, biocontainment requirements, escalation of equipment demand, and expansion of equipment-based science. Costs in most U.S. metropolitan markets are compared and benchmarked against those for the New York City area.

States Scrutinize School Construction Costs
Sack, Joetta
May 04, 2005
With an eye toward cost overruns, questionable architectural features, and rising bottom lines, several states are taking a closer look at how districts manage their school construction projects. This article discusses audits and moratoriums in New Jersey, Indiana, and Massachusetts. {Free subscriber registration required.] p27,30

Green School Is a Good Neighbor.
School Planning and Management; v44 n5 , pGB25-GB27 ; May 2005
Describes the construction techniques and building materials used in a Pennsylvania school, yielding an environmentally friendly facility at a lower than average construction cost.

Mixed Results: American School and University 31st Annual Official Education Construction Report 2005.
Agron, Joe
American School and University; v77 n10 , p29-32,34,36,45,46 ; May 2005
Presents findings from an annual report on education construction, showing that the total amount of education construction put in place in 2004 was down to $41.3 billion, after an all-time high of $48.1 billion in 2003. K-12 construction, however, posted a record total at $29.1 billion. Numerous tables and charts illustrate historical, current, and future construction spending by building type, institution type, and region.

Schools on the Fast Track.
Bogo, Barbara
School Planning and Management; v44 n4 , p28,29,32 ; Apr 2005
Explains the benefits of precast concrete in school construction, citing short- and long- term savings, speed of fabrication and assembly, plasticity, and choices in exterior finishes that include real or emulated stone and brick.

Spending Paradox.
Kennedy, Mike
American School and University; v77 n7 , p20-22,24-26 ; Mar 2005
Describes the struggle between lowest construction cost and life-cycle cost in the deliberation over new school construction, and the difficulty of convincing voters and school board members to fund quality sustainable design in order to save energy and maintenance costs.

College Planning and Management Construction Report 2005.
Abramson, Paul
College Planning and Management; v8 n2 , pC1-C8 ; Feb 2005
Provides data on 2004 higher education construction, with college construction reaching a record $13.7 billion of construction put in place. These figures represent the activity of only 43% of the nation's colleges, so it is assumed that the numbers will remain high as the other 67% address their building needs. Details for twelve regional areas in the U.S. are provided.

School Planning and Management Construction Report 2005.
Abramson, Paul
School Planning and Management; v44 n2 , pC1-C16 ; Feb 2005
Presents detailed data on U.S. school construction for 2004. Total construction was $20.2 billion. 60.5% of that amount was for new construction, the highest figure in over 20 years. Individual tables illustrate annual figures for 2004, projected 2005 completions, projected 2005 starts, profiles of news schools under construction, school sizes, types of amenities and additions, and regional analysis for twelve portions of the U.S.

Looking Ahead
Agron, Joe
American School and University; Jan 2005
This is an educated guess by the editor of American School & University magazine on what 2005 and beyond will hold for education construction: "based on data, spending on education construction will remain vibrant well into the future … and communities will continue to be supportive of intelligent spending to create the best possible learning environments. The challenge, however, will be to get state and federal lawmakers to seriously address the issue." In 2004, of the 675 school construction bond issues proposed, 472 were approved (69.9 percent). Of the $39.526 billion in ballot questions proposed, $34.489 billion was approved — a whopping 87.3 percent.

Prepurchasing Materials and Equipment for Construction and Renovation: Is It Right for You?
Moretti, Richard
School Business Affairs; v70 n10 , p12-14,16 ; Nov 2004
Advises on how to pre-purchase and bulk purchase capital equipment for multi-building school construction and renovation programs. Savings are realized due to increased purchasing power and standardization. An example from the Red Clay Consolidated School District in Wilmington, Delaware, illustrates how a managing architect, good legal counsel, and data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Producer Price Indexes (PPI) were used to implement a successful program.

Misconceptions of a School Construction Project.
Rosenberg, David
The School Administrator; v61 n10 , p45 ; Nov 2004
Dispels three common misconceptions surrounding school construction: 1) Schools are easy to build. 2) To get the lowest construction price, choose the lowest bidder. 3)Construction is an isolated event that should be kept completely separate from ongoing school activities.
TO ORDER: American Association of School Administrators, 801 N. Quincy St., Ste. 700, Arlington, VA 22203-1730; Tel: 703-875-0745; Email:

Managing Excellence Delivering Success Awards.
School Planning and Management; v43 n10 , p33-48 ; Oct 2004
Shares effective management techniques in the planning, design, and construction of projects from inception to completion. The selected projects showcase methods and procedures used to control time, cost, and quality in order to provide safe, secure, and appropriate physical environments.

Stretching Construction Dollars.
Carey, Kelley
American School Board Journal; v191 n10 , p26-30 ; Oct 2004
Describes a three-stage "downward spiral" that many school districts fall into, consisting of poor maintenance budgets, rushed renovation decisions, and faulty building addition decisions. Warning signs that a district is starting down the bad-planning spiral are offered, and steps toward good planning are described, including gathering sound data, outlining clear objectives, developing alternative means of achieving these objectives, and setting program priorities.

Inflation Batters Building Costs.
Gorgan,Tim; Hampton, Tudor
ENR: Engineering News-Record; , 2p. ; Sep 27, 2004
2004 began with an explosion in steel prices that reverberated throughout construction. That was followed by aftershocks in lumber, plywood, gypsum wallboard, copper, stainless steel, insulation and concrete products. The rebound in nonresidential construction markets, strong spending on public works and record levels of home building pushed up demand for materials and prices along with it. The resulting higher materials prices propelled inflation in the construction industry from 3% at the beginning of the year to about 10% by September, according to ENR’s building cost index.

Costs Climb on Materials for Schools.
Sack, Joetta
Education Week; v24 n1 , p1,24 ; Sep 2004
The rapidly rising cost of steel and other construction materials is forcing some districts that are building new schools to scramble for more money, delay work, or redesign projects. [Free subscriber registration is required.]

Growth Spurt: American School and University 30th Annual Education Construction Report 2004. Adobe PDF
Agron, Joe
American School and University; v76 n10 ; May 2004
Presents findings from an annual report on education construction, showing that the amount of education construction put in place in 2003 reached an all-time high, even as staffing and program expenditures were being reduced. Numerous tables and charts illustrate current and future construction spending by building type, institution type, and region.

Change Order Management.
Boot, Edward
School Planning and Management; v43 n4 , p16-20 ; Apr 2004
Discusses six major causes of change orders and suggests five ways to avoid them. Even with extensive planning efforts undertaken to avoid them, it is advisable to budget for unforseen circumstances.

School Construction Defies Fiscal Doldrums.
Sack, Joetta L.
Education Week; v23 n27 , p1,28,30 ; Mar 17, 2004
This first of a three-part series reports on record school construction beginning in 2002, despite a sagging economy. Reasons for the increase include bond issues passed during the strong economy of the late 1990's, equity lawsuits, and demographic shifts. Creative financing methods are highlighted, as well as potential problems in planning due to rapid growth. [Free subscriber registration is required.]

Demographics Drive Market. Kids Keep School Work Going Strong.
Grogan, Tim
ENR: Engineering News-Record; Feb 02, 2004
School construction, spurred on by a surge in student enrollments, has been one of the industry’s strongest markets over the last decade. While state fiscal problems are expected to slow the double-digit growth of recent years, the underlaying demographics will keep the school building market going strong for years to come. Through the first 11 months of last year, total school construction put-in-place reached $66.2 billion, according to the U.S. Dept. of Commerce. McGraw-Hill Construction estimates that the total school market slipped 5% in 2003 to 239 million square feet and it predicts that the school market’s size will shrink another 12 million square feet in 2004.

College Planning and Management Construction Report 2004. Adobe PDF
Abramson, Paul
College Planning and Management; v7 n2 , p18,20,22,24,26-28,30,32 ; Feb 2004
Provides detailed data on higher education construction in 2003, with college construction exceeding $11 billion for the second year in a row. $11.3 billion in new construction is scheduled to begin in 2004. These figures represent the activity of only 37% of the nation's colleges, so it is assumed that the numbers will remain high as the other 63% address their building needs.

School Planning and Management Construction Report 2004. Adobe PDF
Abramson, Paul
School Planning and Management; v43 n2 , p17,18,20,22,24,26,28-39 ; Feb 2004
Presents detailed data on U.S. school construction for 2003. Total construction in 2003 was $19.96 billion, with the year being the first in three that did not exceed $20 billion. New construction scheduled to start in 2004 totals 18.6 billion, the lowest since 1999. Includes region-by-region analyses.

What Can $3.6 Billion Buy? Los Angeles School Construction Has a Choice.
Fielding, Randall
DesignShare; , 5p. ; Feb 2004
Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) is pioneering a more efficient method for managing a $3.6 billion construction program so that decisions are made faster and vendors are paid in a timely manner. This questions whether or not Los Angeles' focus on delivering seats in schools will stand the test of time from an educational perspective. The author recommends that LAUSD focus more on sustainable, high performance design.

Staying on Track.
Kennedy, Mike
American School and University; v76 n4 , p20-22 ; Dec 2003
Describes successful methods of planning and communication to help keep construction projects on schedule. Examples of how specific school systems encountered and then surmounted problems are provided.

Improving Construction Management at UCI through Effective Data Warehousing.
Hanspal, Amar
College Planning and Management; v6 n11 , p32,34 ; Nov 2003
Describes how improvements in construction management made at the University of California at Irvine streamlined the design-build program and enabled simultaneous construction projects to be coordinated in a time- and cost-effective manner.

Get Real.
Dellicker, Lee
University Business; Sep 2003
How can you arrive at an accurate construction estimate when you only have a vision? Simply follow these four steps to a credible conceptual budget: start with teamwork; do your homework; design to the budget; and assess your success.

State Prevailing Wage Laws and School Construction Costs.
Azari-Rad, Hamid; Philips, Peter;and Prus, Mark J.
Industrial Relations; v42 n3 , p445 ; Jul 2003
Critics of prevailing wage laws claim that their elimination will cut total public construction costs by 15 to 25 percent. Justification for this assertion may be found in a 1983 study comparing the cost of public construction regulated by the Davis-Bacon Act with the cost of similar private construction. However, this study failed to account for the difference in the cost of public and private buildings absent . Using F. W. Dodge data for 1991 to 1999, we show that the inclusion of the appropriate controls in a study of new school construction costs finds no statistically significant difference between the cost of public schools built with prevailing wage regulations. [Authors' abstract]

Strong Showing. American School and University 29th Annual Education Construction Report 2003.
Agron, Joe
American School and University; v75 n9 , p29-38 ; May 2003
Presents findings from an annual report on education construction, which concluded that education construction remained one of the few bright spots in an otherwise lackluster economy. Includes several tables of construction spending data.

The High Cost of Building a Better University.
Guckert, Donald J.; King Jeri Ripley
Facilities Manager; v19 n3 , p18-21 ; May-Jun 2003
Describes the effects that aesthetic requirements, regulations, institutional needs, scheduling, and sustainability have on construction costs for higher education facilities.

College Planning and Management Construction Report 2003. Adobe PDF
Abramson, Paul
College Planning and Management; v6 n2 , p16-24 ; Feb 2003
Provides detailed data on higher education construction in 2002, concluding that college construction reached an all-time high of $11 billion. Indications are that colleges will be doing at least that much construction in the years to come. About 36 percent of that number is going into renovations of existing structures.

School Planning and Management Construction Report 2003. Adobe PDF
Abramson, Paul
School Planning and Management; v42 n2 , p17-41 ; Feb 2003
Presents detailed data on U.S. school construction for 2002. Total construction in 2002 topped $21.6 billion, the third consecutive year that numbers have topped $20 billion; expectations for 2003 indicate things may be slowing down. Includes region-by-region analyses.

Money to Build.
Agron, Joe
American School and University; Jan 01, 2003
Buoyed by a successful year at the polls, schools and universities are benefiting from strong state and community support to fund construction and repair of facilities. Of the $44.78 billion in K-12 bond issues proposed in 2002, $37.58 billion worth of new funding was passed — resulting in an almost 84 percent approval rating. Led by a massive statewide issue in California ($13 billion), schools throughout the nation are finding that voters will support carefully planned and detailed construction programs.

Cutting Costs.
Kennedy, Mike
American School and University; v75 n5 , p20-23 ; Jan 2003
Offers ten suggestions for schools and universities to maximize their budgets: energy upgrades, security technology, maintenance management systems, partnerships, modernized washrooms, windows, facilities assessment, outsourcing, alternative fuels, and building commissioning.

Making Sense of Hard and Soft Dollars: Some Basic Fundamentals for Project Budgeting.
Knell, Paul F.
Bulletin; v71 n1 ; Jan 2003
Offers advice for student union professionals facing preliminary budgeting for renovation or construction projects, including relevant industry terminology.

Preparing Figures.
Laudolff, Paul V.
American School and University; v75 n3 , p354-56 ; Nov 2002
Discusses how to develop confident budgets for school facilities construction at the master planning stage with limited information.

School Officials Study Facility Costs.
Sack, Joetta
Education Week; v22 n9 , p12 ; Oct 30, 2002
A rural school district in Arizona, facing a huge population boom, is using public and private partnerships coupled with simple school design to pay for much needed new schools. Rather than ask residents for more bond money, the Higley district has managed the growth by partnering with local government agencies and private groups to build new schools that serve as multi-use facilities. The article also discusses a new computer program in place in Fulton County, Georgia that helps school officials predict growth patterns and locate new schools in areas where they will be most effectively utilized.

Cost per Square Foot: A Double-Edged Sword.
SHW Concepts; Fall 2002
Describes variables that can affect a cost per square foot calculation of a school building. These are: differences in what is included in the cost calculation, differences in the types of spaces that the school may include, local economic and site factors, amenities, grade levels, and efficiency of layout.

Who Pays for the Architect's Mistakes?
Guckert, Donald; King, Jeri Ripley
Facilities Manager; v18 n5 , p47-52 ; Sep-Oct 2002
Discusses standard of care and accountability for errors and omissions in the work of design consultants such as architects and engineers. Emphasizes the responsibility of owners, the importance of communication, and strategies for risk management, such as professional liability insurance, third-party review, design/build, and modified contract language.

Lesson Plans Are Being Reworked To Stretch Construction Dollars.
Rubin, Debra K.; Rosta, Paul; Gonchar, Joann; Illia, Tony
ENR: Engineering News-Record; v248 n18 , p30-33 ; May 13, 2002
This article looks at the current school construction situation in Ohio, Arizona, Idaho, Michigan, California, New York, and New Jersey. While school-related capital programs in many towns, cities and regions are still flush with cash and generating a boom market for engineers, architects and contractors, increasingly, those purse strings are being pulled tighter as states face budget pressures and taxpayers are less willing to underwrite the bill.

Bucking the Trend. American School and University 28th Annual Official Education Construction Report 2002.
Agron, Joe
American School and University; v74 n9 , p24-37 ; May 2002
This annual construction report reveals that even as the overall economy continued to suffer, education construction spending reached record heights in 2001, and promises to remain robust through at least 2004. Includes several data tables and figures on spending, costs, and resource allocation, including regional differences.

Making Hay When It Rains: The Effect Prevailing Wage Regulations, Scale Economies, Seasonal, Cyclical and Local Business Patterns Have On School Construction Costs.
Azari-Rad, Hamid; Philips, Peter; Prus, Mark
Journal of Education Finance; v27 n4 , p997-1012 ; Spring-Summer 2002
Examines several alternative ways for school districts to reduce the construction costs of new facilities. Finds that spacing out the start of facility construction projects and building during economic downturns in the construction industry offer the best options for construction cost savings.

Interdisciplinary Plan Reviews: An Indispensable Tool for Containing School Construction Costs.
Pettit, Michelle M.
School Business Affairs; v68 n4 , p25-27 ; Apr 2002
Advocates the use of an Interdisciplinary Plan Review (IPR) to contain district school construction costs for owners and reduce errors and ommissions liability for the design team. An IPR involves the retention of an independent firm to proofread a school's construction documents prior to sending them out to bid.

College Planning and Management Construction Report 2002.
Abramson, Paul
College Planning and Management; v5 n2 , p14-16 ; Feb 2002
An annual survey of college construction finds that more than $11 billion in projects is expected to be completed, and another $11 billion started, in 2002. Just $6.6 billion is being invested in new structures; the rest is earmarked for renovating and expanding existing facilities. Includes several data tables.

School Planning and Management Construction Report 2002. Adobe PDF
Abramson, Paul
School Planning and Management; v41 n2 , p21-42 ; Feb 2002
School construction valued at $20.3 billion was completed during calendar year 2001, the second consecutive year that more than $20 billion worth of school construction was put in place.

Under Control.
Henry, Rich
American School and University; v74 n3 , p365-66 ; Nov 2001
Offers advice on how school administrators can properly plan and monitor school construction projects to contain costs. Cost control tips discussed include project scope definition, contract bidding and awarding practice, and project management techniques.

Managing the Money.
Laudolff, Paul
American School and University; v74 n3 , p320-23 ; Nov 2001
Explains how schools and universities that clearly define their construction projects will have greater success staying within budget. Examines some fundamentals of project definition and key cost- management steps, including assembling a team, developing a concept, design phase, award phase, and construction phase.

Involving Principals in School Renovations: Benefit or Burden?
Brent, Brian O.; Cianca, Marie
Journal of Education Finance; v27 n2 , p729-40 ; Oct 2001
Examines the nature and extent of principal involvement in school renovation, assesses costs and benefits thereof, and reviews principal training in school renovation.

Remedial Economics.
Weder, Adele
Canadian Architect; v47 n8 , p10,28 ; Aug 2001
Reviews the long-term implications of Vancouver's former British Columbian government school policy, which was designed to garner short-term savings. This article examines the pitfalls of short-term expediency and overly-regulated design.

School Costs Contained Despite Boom.
ENR: Engineering News-Record; v247 n3 , p10-12 ; Jul 16, 2001
Contractors are containing costs on school projects despite a record volume of work that is putting pressure on key trades such as masonry, mechanical and electrical subs. According to an analysis of school construction costs, the average cost per student for a high-quality facility is $27,600 for a high school and $17,275 for an elementary school.

School Construction and Technology...A Few Important Pointers
Griffin, Richard A.; Fowler, Laura S.
School Business Affairs; v67 n6 , p36-42 ; Jun 2001
The most overlooked facet of school construction is the dovetailing of permanent construction insurance and technology construction insurance. Advice is provided about technology and technology purchases, highlighting problems associated with costs, copyright infringements, delivery delays, electrical wiring, hardware, student records, vendors, consultants, and Internet providers.

The Latest at Longview: 6. Maximizing Every Construction Dollar.
Roark, Steven
College Planning and Management; v4 n6 , p52-53,61 ; Jun 2001
Administrators and architects define project parameters to reduce costs at Longview Community College's, Kansas City, Missouri, liberal arts building project. Refining the project design is discussed.

Building for the Boom. American School and University 27th Annual Education Construction Report 2001.
Agron, Joe
American School and University; v73 n9 , 22-44 passim ; May 2001
Presents construction comparative data from the 27th Annual Official Education Construction Report on education construction spending for 2000. Data tables show where the construction is happening by region, projected spending areas through 2003, new school and retrofitting costs, and the types of retrofits being performed.

Metal Building Systems -- Today's Educated Choice.
Wiens, Janet
College Planning and Management; v4 n5 , p40,42-43 ; May 2001
Discusses the benefits and options of using metal building systems to help college and university facility personnel find a cost- effective solution for constructing many building projects.

College Planning and Management Construction Report 2001. Adobe PDF
Abramson, Paul
College Planning and Management; v4 n2 , p20-22,24,26-27 ; Feb 2001
Presents college and university construction data for 2001, including a region-by-region breakdown of completed construction projects and projects beginning in 2001. Data tables show the types of buildings being completed in 2000/2001 and the residence hall amenities that were included.

School Planning and Management Construction Report 2001. Adobe PDF
Abramson, Paul
School Planning and Management; v40 n2 , p27-30,32-35,37-38,40-42,44 ; Feb 2001
Provides data on school construction projects for 2001 revealing the highest ever 12-month total of dollars spent on completed projects. Details of these figures and regional cost analyses are included.

Is a Monolithic Dome in Your District's Future
Lanham, Carol
School Business Affairs; v66 n12 , p37-40 ; Dec 2000
Monolithic domes are less costly to build than traditional structures and can cost as much as 50 percent less to heat and cool. Districts across the country that have opted for monolithic-dome school facilities say their decision was a cost-effective alternative to conventional construction. Provides case studies of school districts in Arkansas, Florida, Minnesota, Arizona, and Idaho that have opted to build these round, steel-reinforced concrete structures.

Plotting a Path.
Humann, Cheryl; Taylor, Umang
American School and University; v73 n3 , p418-420 ; Nov 2000
Discusses how budget modeling and early cost estimating can help schools control spending on construction projects. Elements involved in estimating the costs of a project are listed, and the unique characteristics that need to be considered when estimating costs for educational construction are highlighted.

Is College Construction Keeping Up With Enrollment Increases?
Zeisler, Al; Abramson, Paul
College Planning and Management; v3 n10 , p52-55 ; Oct 2000
Assesses whether college administrators are planning and building adequately to meet the the educational demand for space over the next 20 years. Trends in construction dollars expenditures over the past two decades are presented.

Stretching School Construction Dollars with Controlled Insurance Programs.
Mitchell, James W.
School Construction News; v3 n6 , p26 ; Sep-Oct 2000
Discusses reducing school construction costs through alternative insurance programs. How a Controlled Insurance Program can reduce insurance costs up to 40 percent and lead to savings of up to 5 percent of total construction costs over the life of a program are explained.

School Growing Pains; Area's Economy Boosts Construction Costs
Johnson, Darragh
Washington Post; , pA1, A12 ; Aug 24, 2000
Across the US, higher construction costs, a labor shortage, and a shortage of building materials is impacting school construction, even as states pour money into local programs. In Maryland, where construction costs have risen 30%, a promised $300.7 million state subsidy will not go as far. High construction bids are forcing renovation projects to be scaled down or put on hold while officials seek voter approval for additional funds

Cutting Budget Corners While Adding Value.
Veile, Craig N.; Carpenter, Mark J.
School Planning and Management; v39 n7 , p56-61 ; Jul 2000
Discusses how one school district saved money while adding long- term value to its capital improvement project. Planning issues involving square footage requirements, quality of material to be used, and heating and cooling system selection are discussed as are concepts to increase student learning capacity for the same construction dollars.

Schools: Big Programs Stir Costs.
ENR: Engineering News-Record; , p92-93 ; Jun 26, 2000
Multibillion dollar building programs in some school districts are creating their own micro-cost environment. School construction costs are rising about 2% faster than the overall building inflation measured by the Saylor index.To help contain costs, many school districts with massive building programs are turning to construction management firms to run the show. Includes a study of costs for nine schools built between 1998 and 1999. They had an average cost of $118 per sq ft.

Through the Roof: American School and University 26th Annual Education Construction Report 2000.
Agron, Joe
American School and University; v72 n9 , p30-54 ; May 2000
Presents the 26th Annual American School and University Official Education and Construction Report revealing data on school construction projects across the United States. Project costs are categorized by institutional type, region, type of spending, and cost distribution between new and additional/renovation construction. Regional cost comparisons for each type of new school are highlighted.

Where Did the Money Go?
Abramson, Paul
School Planning and Management; v39 n4 , p58 ; Apr 2000
Despite the recent boom in school construction spending, this nation is not catching up with the backlog of school space needed nor overcoming the deficits of so many of its older schools. Discusses how inflation erodes the dollar.

Strategy Reduces Construction Costs.
Flynn, Jim; Petters, Walt
School Planning and Management; v39 n4 , p31-32,34 ; Apr 2000
Reveals how a Florida school district had success when switching from a design-bid-build approach for school construction to a construction management (CM) at risk. The CM at risk process involving project delivery options, maximum price guarantees, and the school district s benefits in cost savings accrued are addressed.

College Planning and Management Construction Report 2000.
Abramson, Paul
College Planning and Management; v3 n2 , p20-22,24,26-27 ; Feb 2000
Provides cost data on college and university construction projects completed for 1999 and projected for completion in 2000 by region. New building cost comparisons and profiles are listed, including basic information on 61 dormitory projects schedules to be completed in 2000.

School Planning and Management Construction Report 2000. Adobe PDF
Abramson, Paul
School Planning and Management; v39 n2 , p17-20,22-24,26-28,30,32-34 ; Feb 2000
Presents 1999 comparative survey data on school construction in the United States revealing rapidly increasing numbers of construction projects. Data are presented by region on school construction projects completed in 1999; projects expected to be completed and started in 2000; types of schools being built, expanded, and renovated; and what the new schools will provide.

Prevailing Wage Regulations and School Construction Costs: Evidence from British Columbia. Adobe PDF
Bilginsoy, Cihan; Philips, Peter
Journal of Education Finance; v25 n3 , p415-32 ; Winter 2000
Examines effects of prevailing wage laws on school construction costs, using final cost data from six British Columbia school districts. When controlling for factors such as construction business cycle, number of competitors, and school type, there was no significant unit cost change following the Skill Development and Fair Wage Policy Act. (25 footnotes)

Building Within Budget.
Carey, Kelley D.
School Spending: The Business of Education; , 6p. ; 2000
Careful planning and estimating can hold down school construction costs. Discusses when cost estimates should be made, who should estimate costs, and how to keep costs down.

Reducing Construction Costs.
Fielding, Randall
School Construction News; , p14,19 ; Jan-Feb 2000
Describes 10 cost saving principles that will have a impact when incorporated early in the planning process. Adapted from a presentation made at the CEFPI conference held in Baltimore, MD in November, 1999.

What's Up with the Construction Industry (Besides Costs)?
Beaudin, James; Oliveto, John C.
School Planning and Management; v38 n12 , p19-21 ; Dec 1999
Discusses why school construction costs are rising so rapidly and the factors that will affect a school's building project. Tips on the decisions school boards can make to lessen the cost impact are highlighted.

Dome Schools: Who Says Buildings Have to be Boxes?
Cirulli, Carol
American School Board Journal; v186 n10 , p41-43 ; Oct 1999
Many school districts are finding that it can cost less to build a dome school than a traditional school building. A concrete dome is a one-piece structure that is built using a relatively simple construction process and a single crew of workers. Maintenance costs are usually lower and they are energy-efficient, safe and durable.

Delivery Order Contracting: A Better Way To Build.
Kline, Clayton M.
Facilities Manager; v15 n5 , p19-24 ; Sep-Oct 1999
Explains what delivery order contracting (DOC) is and how it can be used to provide a cost effective, efficient, and less acrimonious environment when doing low-bid contracting. Benefits of DOC are discussed, such as compressing the acquisition time; reducing maintenance, repair, and renovation backlogs; and reducing up-front costs. Concluding comments offer tips for managing DOC successfully.

Computing the Real Costs of School Technology
Beaudin, James A.; Sells, Jeffrey A.
School Business Affairs; v65 n7 , p34-40,42 ; Jul 1999
Computers and other new technologies are changing how school buildings must be designed. Introduces the full range of building designs that high-tech learning necessitates. Tables present unit costs for many infrastructural and network electronics components of the advanced telecommunication systems now being installed in schools. A hypothetical case study of the cost of a typical new elementary school shows some of the ways in which increased space needs and other factors raise costs.

Hidden Costs of School Construction
Glass, Thomas E.
School Business Affairs; v65 n7 , p6-12 ; Jul 1999
Costs that may increase the original school construction estimates include school design inefficiency, architect fees, and costs for land, site development, technology, demolition, consultants, and security. A quality-review team can plan to avoid hidden costs and ensure that the new facility will meet instructional needs at the least possible cost.

Healthy Progress: American School and University 25th Annual Official Education Construction Report 1999.
Agron, Joe, Ed.
American School and University; v71 n9 , p39-54 ; May 1999
Presents the American School and University magazine comparative national data on 1998 new school and college construction and renovation costs, the amount of construction activity planned, and new school cost trends. Data show a 23 percent increase in all types of construction over 1997, with modernization and additions topping the list in percentage gains.

School Planning and Management Construction Report 1999.
Abramson, Paul
School Planning and Management; v38 n2 , p35-38,40,42 ; Feb 1999
Presents U.S. regional data on public school construction spending, including trends, profiles on new schools planned or currently underway, building types and composition, types of construction completed in 1998, and comparative construction spending analyses between regions. Data reveal an overall $3 billion increase in construction spending over 1997, a spending trend that is expected to continue for at least several years.

College Planning and Management Construction Report 1999.
Abramson, Paul, Ed.
College Planning and Management; v2 n2 , p20-22,24,26,28 ; Feb 1999
Presents comparative regional data on school construction activities and costs for 1998 and 1999 projections. Regional data include profiles of new buildings expected to be completed in 1999, college construction completed and projected for starting in 1999, and the types of residence hall amenities and the percentages of how often they are found.

Metropolitan Cost Comparisons
Means, R. S.
Building Design & Construction; v39 n8 , p33 ; Aug 1998
Presents a list of construction cost comparisons from 25 selected metropolitan markets across the United States. Costs are shown on a square foot basis and for the basic building itself during the years of 1997 and 1998 with the percentage change. Vocational schools are included along with elementary and secondary school buildings.

Avoiding Project Creep.
Scarnati, James T.; Kennerknecht, Norbert J.
American School and University; v70 n12 , p138-140 ; Aug 1998
Discusses how to keep school district capital-improvement projects within budget. Areas where runaway costs creep into a project and ways of cutting are lessening these costs are examined, such as using standard agreements, controlling architect's expense reimbursements, developing a quality control process, and reducing document duplication.

Boom Time: American School and University 24th Annual Official Education Construction Report 1998.
Agron, Joe
American School and University; v70 n9 , p21-22,24,26,28,30,32,34,36,38 ; May 1998
Examines building cost trend data for educational facilities from the American School & University's 24 annual Official Education Construction Report for 1997. Data tables list education construction by projects completed; by projected spending; institution type; type of spending; projects projected for completion; and how construction costs are being split between new buildings, additions, and renovations. Retrofit costs and projects are highlighted.

College Planning and Management Construction Report 1998.
Abramson, Paul
College Planning and Management; v1 n2 , p22-26,28 ; Mar 1998
Reports on the third annual survey of college and university construction in the United States. Finds that almost $5.8 billion worth of construction was completed in 1997, and $6.3 billion will be finished in 1998. Offers information on regional construction activity, profiles of new buildings on campuses, residence hall amenities, and other data.

Interdisciplinary Coordination Reviews: A Process to Reduce Construction Costs.
Fewell, Dennis A.
Facilities Manager; v14 n2 , p42-43,45,47-48 ; Mar-Apr 1998
Interdisciplinary Coordination design review is instrumental in detecting coordination errors and omissions in construction documents. Cleansing construction documents of interdisciplinary coordination errors reduces time extensions, the largest source of change orders, and limits exposure to liability claims. Improving the quality of design documents is discussed.

School Planning and Management Construction Report 1998.
Abramson, Paul
School Planning & Management; v37 n2 , p36-38,40,42-47 ; Feb 1998
Presents data on public school construction completions, starts, and renovations by school type for the years 1997 and 1998. Statistics are categorized within 12 regions covering the entire United States. Overall numbers show a steady increase in all three areas with completions in 1998 at $14.6 billion being 15% higher than in 1997, and starts in all areas totaling more than $15 billion.

Covering Construction Costs.
Hardy, Lawrence
The American School Board Journal; v184 , p20-23 ; Oct 1997
Across the nation, local school districts are scrambling for much-needed funds to fix up old schools and build new ones to accommodate booming enrollments. The problems go beyond the ability of many districts, even of many districts that are relatively wealthy, to solve. However, despite political promises and posturing, it appears for now that local districts can count on little help from federal government or, in most cases, from state governments. Current debates in Colorado, Arizona, and Maine about inequities in school funding, particularly for capital improvements, are discussed.
TO ORDER: American School Board Journal, 1680 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA 22314; Tel: 703-838-6722

Rising to New Heights: American School and University 23rd Annual Education Construction Report 1997
Agron, Joe
American School & University; v69 n9 , p14-16+ ; May 1997
Provides summarized data from the 23rd Annual Official Education Construction Report on school construction costs across the United States. It shows where the money is being spent, how much, and where construction is taking place; assesses future projections; and highlights types of retrofits put in place by school districts and colleges.

School Planning and Management Construction Report 1997.
Abramson, Paul, Ed.
School Planning and Management; v36 n2 , p14,16-22 ; Feb 1997
While school construction figures suggest an increasing trend, there is concern that it will not meet demand. This report presents comparative nationwide data gathered by School Construction Alert. Statistical tables list regional data in the following categories: school construction completed in the years 1996 and 1997; school construction starts for 1997; profiles of new schools started in 1997; what schools built in 1997 provide; and statistical tables breaking down construction data for new schools, additions, and renovations by region. The report shows U.S. school construction is on the increase in response to enrollment increases, however, the building efforts are not keeping up with the numbers of students who are entering schools and no where near keeping up with the need for retrofit, remodel, and renovation needs.

Building by the Book: American School and University 22nd Annual Official Education Construction Report 1996
Agron, Joe
American School & University; v68 n9 , p16-22+ ; May 1996
This 22nd annual Official Education Construction Report details school and university construction information. It documents the amount and type of construction put in place and projected to be completed by the nations' educational institutions over the next three years (1996-1998). Annual and regional construction activity projections are included.

Costing New, Retrofitted, and Remodeled Schools
Glass, Thomas E.
School Business Affairs; v61 n9 , p33-34, 36-40 ; Sep 1995
Describes techniques to estimate costs to both physically improve a school facility and make it more educationally adequate. Discusses developing the space-utilization plan, designing for scheduling efficiency, and calculating costs for the site and specific facilities.

Look Before You Leap.
Palmer, John; Rutherford, Richard
American School & University; v67 n5 , p36b,d,f,h ; Jan 1995
Discusses the preconstruction planning process that can help reduce costs and minimize construction risks when building educational facilities. Factors for successful implementation of the planning process are examined.

Keeping the Roof on Building Costs.
Rydeen, James E.
School Administrator; v51 n6 , p8-13 ; Jun 1994
School construction overruns and other disappointments usually stem from inadequate planning, mismanagement, and inexperienced individuals. This article shows how to compute "ballpark" estimates based on a district's unique planning requirements for curriculum, scheduling, and class sizes; screen firms' and individuals' qualifications; devise a realistic budget, monitor the design and construction process; and develop shared responsibility for outcomes.

Elderly School Syndrome--Or, How to Make Budget Estimates for Major School Rehabilitation.
Leggett, Stanton; et al
American School and University; v55 n11 , p50-51,68 ; Jul 1993
Explains a method for converting school building rehabilitation costs into costs per square foot (unit costs) for seven categories of building components. Unit costs are useful in budgeting, consistent with standard practices of building cost estimating, and easily adjusted for variations due to locality and the economy.

Who Affects Costs of Constructing School Facilities?
Day, C. William
CEFP Journal; v23 n6 , p9-10 ; Nov-Dec 1985
School officials must be aware of their own and others' influences on the cost of constructing a school facility. Administrators' responsibilities include investigating the architect's reputation for performance and adhering to a clearly defined educational program.



Due to lack of funding, the National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities is currently available only as an archived site. As of September 1, 2012 no new content will be added or updates made. We regret the need to take such steps, but should funding become available, we look forward to reinvigorating NCEF and providing this valuable resource to the educational facilities community.

If you have questions or are an organization or company wishing to support the continued operation of this industry recognized resource please contact Institute President Henry Green (, 202-289-7800).