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Cost to construct and rebuild Ogden schools significantly more than bond issued

Posted at 10:09 PM, Mar 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-06 00:11:45-05

OGDEN, Utah — The amount of money to construct or remodel several new elementary schools in Ogden will cost significantly more than a 2018 bond needed to build the schools.

Ogden School District Spokesperson Jer Bates said it will cost nearly $20 million more to complete the projects, which includes expanding and renovating two elementary schools as well as rebuilding two others.

It’s a major construction zone at Wasatch Elementary with two projects going on simultaneously.

Supervisor Mason Van Noy shows off his job site that includes a large two-story building to the south of the property.

“The school isn’t big enough for the size they are currently at, so they are adding an addition,” Van Noy said.

Inside the original school but in 1951, major upgrades are also underway.

The price of this project and three others rose an estimated 21 percent since Ogden voters approved an $87 million bond.

Bates insists that price reflected how much the district would need to borrow and not necessarily the estimated price of construction.

“This is by no means a situation where the school district is just extravagantly throwing out money and not worrying bout it. We are doing everything we can to mitigate those costs,” Bates said.

Yet, the construction of the four projects tops $106.5 million.

“We are are simply at the mercy of the cost of materials and the cost of labor,” Bates said.

Utah’s robust economy sparked a construction boom that’s led to a shortage of both in recent years.

“It’s hard to get good quality help, skilled labor is extremely hard to come by right now,” Van Noy said.

To cover the extra $20 million in construction costs, Bates says the district will pull from the district’s tax-payer funded capital account.