Tom Butt
  E-Mail Forum – 2015  
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  Myth of Unusually High Construction Costs for WCCUSD Schools Deflated
September 14, 2015

The following came from School Board Trustee Todd Groves. Note that WCCUSD school construction costs are below both the Bay Area average and the Los Angeles average.

At our last meeting, I had opportunity to ask staff a question about our facilities construction costs, a source of much debate and contention. Associate Superintendent Lisa LeBlanc responded in our Friday Memo to the Board. With respect to cost per square foot, WCCUSD compares favorably to both the Bay Area and Los Angeles. This minimal statistic doesn't do justice to our feature rich design standards or enhancements sought by school communities. Taken as a whole, WCCUSD's facilities renewal has delivered high quality, enduring facilities at cost under other comparable districts.

New School Construction Costs Per Square Foot in the Bay Area – Lisa LeBlanc

On September 2, 2015, the Response to the Grand Jury was approved by the Board. The response compared state-wide school construction costs per square foot with the District’s cost per square foot. As a follow-up to Board President Grove’s question relating to average construction costs in the bay area, the information below for the bay area is from the Office of Public School Construction’s database. As an additional comparison, the costs from the Los Angeles area are shown below. It should be noted that the available Bay Area and Los Angeles data is through 2012 while the WCCUSD data is through 2014. Likely, the Bay Area/LA costs have increased even further.

Bay Area(2002-2012)/Los Angeles(2002-2012)/WCCUSD(2009-2013/14)

Elementary Schools $400 s.f./$504 s.f./$297 s.f.

Middle Schools $440 s.f./$506 s.f./$397 s.f.

High Schools $463 s.f./$523 s.f./$378 s.f