Tag Archives: Building Additions

E-SPLOST Budget Overruns and Projects on Hold

The current DeKalb Schools budget for E-SPLOST V projects is $561 million. The most recent estimated cost for those projects is $684.4 million. We are roughly 22% over budget (not including any project adjustments made for recent enrollment forecasts).

Enrollment Adjusted Estimated Costs
Due to the most recent enrollment forecasts, most of the building addition projects have either been reduced or cancelled. However, Chamblee Charter HS addition will stay the same and Dunwoody HS is getting 1,000 seats. Accounting for the reductions and cancellations, the enrollment adjusted estimated cost is $638 million ($77 million over current budget).

The new facilities and additions by themselves are projected to be $21 million over budget.

ESLPOST V Project Area Current Budget New Estimated Costs Enrollment Adjusted Estimated Costs
Safety and Security Improvements $12,872,000 $40,629,074 $40,629,074
New Facilities and Additions $304,890,566 $372,197,439 $325,969,237
Facility Condition Improvements $96,948,000 $107,091,710 $107,091,710
Technology Improvements $65,000,000 $68,300,000 $68,300,000
Buses, Vehicles, and Equipment $40,075,000 $40,075,000 $40,075,000
Management Support and Contigency $41,214,434 $56,742,726 $56,742,726
Grand Total $561,000,000 $685,035,949

Increased Construction Costs
Increasing construction costs can be attributed to numerous things including a robust construction market, rising cost of labor due to low unemployment, material costs, tariffs on imported construction materials and more stringent building requirements.

Projects ON HOLD Due to Insufficient Funds

1. Cross Keys MS Converstion and Addition ($10 M)
2. Cedar Gove HS Auditorium ($6 M)
3. Clarkston HS Addition ($18 M)
4. New Cross Keys HS ($84.8 M)
5. Chamblee Charter HS Addition ($21.5 M)
6. Dunwoody HS Addition ($17.7 M)
7. Lakeside HS Addition ($26 M)
1. Arts School ($11 M)

Options to Address Budget Issues

Revenues over the last 6 years have doubled while the number of students has remained the same. However, the school district is looking into borrowing money.

Option 1: $63 Million COPS – Finance Dunwoody HS addition, Lakeside HS addition and the Arts School.

Option 2: $80 Million GO Bond – Finance Dunwoody HS addition, Lakeside HS addition, the Arts School and add $17 million to capital renewal.

Option 3: $100 Million GO Bond – Finance Dunwoody HS addition, Lakeside HS addition, the Arts School, add $5 million to capital renewal, New Cross Keys MS Conversion, Cedar Grove HS Auditorium, Clarkston HS addition.

Option 4: Nothing – Eliminate the projects on hold, decrease most project areas and increase program contingency by $11 million.

Moving Forward

The Board of Education will have illegal rolling meetings behind closed doors over the next week to prioritize projects and discuss the funding options.

Building Additions – Project Plan and Schedule

The SPLOST V building additions at Lakeside HS (LHS), Chamblee Charter HS (CCHS) and Dunwoody HS (DHS) will be “classroom additions and necessary core space additions and/or parking spaces”. But what does that really mean?

I met with Joshua Williams, the Chief Operating Officer, and the other board members on Monday. The building additions project includes the following:
* Classroom additions
* Kitchen extension
* Cafeteria extension
* New/extended media center addition
* New parking
Each building addition project has a specific budget. Whatever money is left over from the building additions, will go into the district wide E-SPLOST Contingency Fund. There will absolutely not be any renovations done to other areas of the school with building additions budget unless they are impacted by the original projects.
In March 2017, the board and administration passed a schedule for all E-SPLOST V projects. That schedule has not changed. At DHS, engineers are looking into the possibility of separating out the field renovations project and doing that early.

Project Description Budget Anticipated Overall Start Date Anticipated Construction Start Date Anticipated Construction Finish Date Anticipated Overall Finish Date
Chamblee HS 30-classroom addition $21,540,000 Mar. 2017 Nov. 2018 Jul. 2020 Oct. 2020
New Cross Keys HS New 119-classroom high school $84,800,000 Aug. 2017 Sep. 2019 Sep. 2021 Jun. 2022
Lakeside HS 38-classroom addition and synthetic turf installation $26,990,000 Nov. 2018 Jul. 2020 Mar. 2022 Jun. 2022
Dunwoody HS 26-classroom addition and synthetic turf installation $17,690,000 Feb. 2019 Oct. 2020 Jun. 2022 Sep. 2022
Peachtree MS 26-classroom addition $14,100,000 Oct. 2019 Jun. 2021 Feb. 2023 May. 2023

$85 million was budgeted for a New Cross Keys HS at the former Briarcliff HS site (or cost-neutral alternative site). A majority of the new Cross Keys High School population will live West of I-85 plus students from Sagamore and/or perhaps Oak Grove. The current Briarcliff HS site is East of I-85 on Druid Hills Rd and sits on 17.6 acres.
E-SPLOST V also includes artificial turf installation at 19 high schools. At LHS and DHS, the turf installation will happen at the same time as the building additions.