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Press briefing: Regular meeting of the Board of School Directors - Sept. 28, 2015


Sept. 25, 2015


Chris Rosenblum

SCASD Director of Communications


SCASD Board of Directors To Review

State High Project Cost Estimate

   On Monday, Sept. 28, the State College Area School District Board of Directors will receive and review Massaro Construction Management Services’ 90 percent cost estimate for the State High Project.

   Crabtree Rohrbaugh and Associates, the project’s architectural firm, presented its separate 90 percent estimate to the Board on Aug. 31. CRA and MCMS calculate their cost estimates independently.

   MCMS estimated final total construction cost is $140,332,300 (including soft costs and reflective of low bid value), compared to CRA’s $129,441,575.

   Projected net costs to SCASD — the 90 percent estimates minus two secured LEED grants of about $4 million — are $136,396,307 from MCMS and $125,506,182 from CRA.

   When looking at the difference between the two estimates, the Board will take into consideration the following:

  • Part of the discrepancy can be attributed to differing opinions from independent parties.

  • The two firms have different approaches to estimates. CRA’s practice is to generate an estimate that predicts the total value of the low bids. MCMS estimates reflect the predicted mid-point of all bids.

  • Over the past 10 years of previous MCMS estimates (about $480 million worth of work), the low bid total value of projects has averaged 12 percent below the estimated mid-point of bids. If this holds true for the State High Project, the estimated cost would be $121,559,625.

  • CRA has reduced its estimating contingency to 1 percent based on its comprehensive knowledge of the architectural drawings. MCMS is still carrying a 4 percent contingency for the project’s architectural and site and mechanical, electrical and plumbing portions. The difference equates to about $1 million. Construction contingency remains 3 percent and isn’t expected to change.

  • Cost estimates for alternates have not been included in either company’s estimate.

  • The administration’s capital financing plan, most recently reviewed at the Sept. 16 board meeting, shows a capacity of $135,000,000 in project funding.

   During the presentation, project team members will stress the following points to the Board:

  • The 90 percent estimates are tools in preparing for bidding the project.

  • Coming from independent parties, the estimates are expected to contain inherent differences.

  • As the source of the architectural documents, CRA is expected to have a clearer understanding and deeper knowledge for the cost estimate. The MCMS estimate prepared at the 90 percent stage included greater uncertainty about the project and supporting documents.

  • During the last month while reviewing the 90 percent documents, MCMS has provided CRA with questions and comments which will lead to refined documents for bidding purposes.

  • The 90 percent documents from which the estimates were generated were not suitable for bidding purposes. An updated set of project documents was created on Sept. 25. MCMS will offer a final recommendation about the bid of the project at the Oct. 5 Board meeting.

  • At the Oct. 5 meeting, the Board is expected to vote on approving the release of the bidding documents. In preparation, the district administration will continue to work with CRA and MCMS to prepare for the release of bid documents.

Action Items

   Among action items, the Board will vote on approving a contract with Affinity Connection for development fundraising services and on a resolution outlining the Board’s stance on Memorial Field and downtown campus development planning.