Let’s Run The Numbers

FIGURING THE REAL COSTS OF THE SCANDAL & DISASTER THAT WOULD BE EASTWOOD ELEMENTARY ON THE MILEGROUND

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COST OF THE FIASCO:

MON SCHOOLS’ ARCHITECT-ESTIMATED PARTIAL COSTS (TABLES 1 & 2 – bottom):  $15,196,594

[Update: On April 15, 2012, the Dominion Post reported that Mon Schools’ architect upped the estimated cost of Eastwood by $2.5 million to $17.6 million, which we had long since anticipated and explained. Add in the approximately $4 million in land acquisition and other costs, and the overall cost of Eastwood surpasses $21,000,000, which again we have long since estimated (see below), and which is a cost far, far higher than has ever been previously admitted or in any way put forth as even a possibility by the officials. And again, for reasons we have long since explained, the total costs could go far, far higher, if they haven’t already.]

TOTAL ESTIMATED COSTS, INCLUDING LAND COSTS: ~$21,000,000 +

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TABLES 1 & 2 COSTS DO NOT INCLUDE “OTHER COSTS” (ESTIMATED):

  1. PURCHASE OF WVU PARCEL (8.85 ACRES): ~$2,900,000
  2. PURCHASE OF THE MOBILE HOME PARK PARCEL (~2.5 ACRES):  ???~$800,000
  3. REMEDIATION OF THE MOBILE HOME PARK (SURFACE)  ???~$200,000
  4. REMEDIATION OF THE MOBILE HOME PARK (MINE-MITIGATION)  ???~$200,000
  5. THE SCHEMATICALLY DESIGNED “FINAL” PART OF THE FULL-SIZED SCHOOL (DETAILED BELOW AS “ALTERNATE SPACES”), WHICH WOULD TAKE THE STUDENT SEATING CAPACITY OF EASTWOOD FROM 450 TO 550 AND THE SQUARE FEET OF THE SCHOOL FROM 66,416 TO 70,973:  ???~$2,000,000
  6. OTHER ARCHAEOLOGICAL, GEOPHYSICAL, AND ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENTS (POST FEB. 2):  ???~$200,000
  7. MISCELLANEOUS (PRESENT & FUTURE NEGLIGENCE OR LIABILITY LAWSUITS, EXTRA POLLUTION CONTROL MEASURES, EXTRA SAFETY MEASURES, ETC.):  ???~$100,000 TO ~$10,000,000 OR MORE
  8. UNKNOWN:  ???

OTHER COSTS, TOTAL:  ~$6,200,000 OR ???

TOTAL COSTS, EASTWOOD MILEGROUND SITE & BUILDING:  ~$21,000,000 + ???

Total costs above are a rough estimate based on limited information. Mon Schools should feel free to add detailed input on these costs estimates, at any time. What a good public service that would be.

[Update: As more data continues to come out, our estimates have proven to be right on target. The Eastwood Elementary project is on track to cost about $21 million. The Board expects to have “full and cleared title” to the entire site by July 15, 2011. Soon to be released construction bids will tell us more.]

The approximate $21 million expense for a new school terribly located raises several giant questions:

  1. Is a dangerous, unpopular, negligent school site worth paying anything for at all, let alone $21 million dollars, of mostly local funds?
  2. Is the WV School Building Authority (SBA) grant of $8.6 million worthwhile? Is the SBA grant needed at all? Is the SBA grant saving Mon Schools much money or any money at all?
  3. Why, in the SBA grant contract appendix, is the “Total Finance Plan” listed as less than $11.5 million ($11,491,200)? and why is the “Local Funds” part of this plan listed as less than $2.9 million ($2,872,800)? The school at the Mileground site is not going to be built for anything close to those figures, even without the astronomical land and remediation costs included.
  4. Why is Berkeley County reportedly able to build a 600 student capacity “green” school for $13 million, while Mon Schools cannot built a 450 student capacity “green” school for anything close to that figure? Why was a West Virginia county that borders Monongalia County able to build an elementary school for 300 students that opened in 2006 for $6.6 million and Mon Schools cannot build an elementary school of 450 students to open in 2012 for three times that amount?

ANSWERS:

  1. NO, the site is not remotely worth it. The Eastwood Mileground site is evidently so negligent that it is unlawful.
  2. APPARENTLY NOT. Mon Schools could give back every single penny of the $8.6 million SBA grant and build a couple $7 million schools on land it already owns and be far better situated in location and be in about the same shape financially. Why did the SBA not fund such a solution in the first place? There’s no evidence that Mon Schools ever even suggested that solution.
  3. DECEIT OR INCOMPETENCE. YOU DECIDE. Hell will freeze over before Eastwood Elementary on the Mileground is built for the SBA grant contract projected figure of less than $11.5 million.
  4. WHO KNOWS. Maybe because Taylor and Berkeley counties don’t pay their superintendent what he is not worth, unlike Mon Schools. Or maybe, unlike Mon Schools, those counties have quality and competent school boards. Or maybe they just got lucky, and Monongalia County got the short end of the stick.

Mon Schools: We will throw your child into traffic and pollution and be proud, proud, proud of doing so.

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Tables below by Williamson Shriver Architects.

TABLE 1

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TABLE 2

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TABLE 3

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