The Houston Independent School District could need up to $212.4 million in additional funding for 2012 bond projects, according to a comprehensive, project-by-project analysis completed by district officials.
The review was done to outline how much additional funding the district potentially could need to ensure all work is completed as initially described in the 2012 bond election.
As part of the analysis, the bond team reviewed each project’s initial, per-square-foot budget to develop a baseline. The team then reviewed current research and market conditions, actual bids received, and projected inflation estimates to determine if supplemental funding might be needed.
The review found that some projects needed no supplemental funding, while others needed significant infusions. The analysis attributes the cost increases to the region’s recent construction boom, which created a huge demand for workers and materials that affected many surrounding school districts.
For projects currently under construction, the difference between original budgets (plus reserves and inflation) and awarded contract costs was calculated. For projects about to start construction, the average square foot cost was recalculated at $222, up 38.75 percent. For projects slated to begin construction in the second quarter of 2016 or later, the average square foot cost was calculated at $235, a 46.8 percent increase.
Occasional realignment is a common practice during an ongoing bond program because of the fluidity in market conditions. If inflation and construction costs go down, so will the need for additional money — and vice versa. Depending on market conditions, HISD may need to realign again before all 2012 Bond Program projects are completed, which is expected by 2020.