UPDATE TO SPRINGFIELD SCHOOL DISTRICT CONSTRUCTION PROJECT
As you may have heard from news reports and various other media sources, the “reopening” of the global economy, post-COVID-19, has created numerous supply chain challenges. As a result, demand for goods and materials has exceeded the production capacity for many industries, including essential products for construction. In the first half of this year, many commodities and finished materials used in commercial construction have increased dramatically and in unprecedented fashion. Some products by a factor of 2x or 3x. These materials include steel, plastics, rubber, thermal insulation, sheetrock, and lumber. The impacts from steel have not only affected cost but they have increased lead times and availability. Steel is found in the structural steel, piping, HVAC equipment, light gauge framing, light fixtures, siding, insulation, playground equipment, FF&E, etc. These Increased costs in materials and uncertainty of availability of materials have forced contractors and developers to put projects on hold or to look seriously at their construction schedules.
Springfield School District and our owner’s rep. DCS, in addition to looking for ways to reduce costs, have been tracking the supply chain and supply/demand economics that are driving the higher construction costs, post pandemic. The design team which includes the district, DCS, our architect (TreanorHL) and Golden Triangle Construction (GTC) our general contractor, are working through numerous options to develop the scope to meet the budget given the current and anticipated marker for construction.
We are also making adjustments to the schedule that will keep us as close to our original schedule as possible, while at the same time giving us the opportunity to take advantage of positive changes in the market over the next few months. We have seen improvements in material costs as well as the availability of materials over the last 6 weeks. We are developing a schedule that will allow us to take advantage of these changes.
We are currently on schedule to start demolition and asbestos abatement the last part of July for Phase 1 of the project. Phase one construction will proceed as expected following this. The district will continue to work hard at ensuring we meet our construction goals on budget and in a timely manner.
Regardless of the final outcome, the new and renovated school in the Springfield School District will be amazing and consistent with the BEST grant program. The many benefits of increased safety features, improved ventilation, daylight in the classrooms, thermal comfort, improved technology, new instructional equipment, etc. will be provided to support the 21st century learning environments the students of Springfield deserve.