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Study: Wake School Construction Comparable to Other Districts

The average cost of most school construction in Wake County falls in line with other school districts in North Carolina and across the United States, according to a new study.

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RALEIGH, N.C. — The Wake County school system falls in line with other districts when it comes to many construction costs, according to a study released Wednesday.

The six-month construction cost analysis, commissioned by the Wake County Citizens Facilities Advisory Committee, reviewed specific cost components of site development, building materials and building systems, while comparing facility model square footage and programmatic components.

It included construction costs of 103 elementary, 34 middle and 19 high schools that were bid between 2000 and 2006.

The report concluded that the average cost of school construction in Wake County for elementary and middle schools is comparable to that of similar school districts in North Carolina and across the United States.

Wake County high schools cost slightly more to construct.

The study also found several possible cost-saving measures that the county could consider, including the overall square-footage of Wake County schools, which is larger than average.

Other cost-saving ideas include reducing the size of school media centers and designing school auditoriums where they would be in cafeteria or gymnasiums.

"We might improve the way we deliver the schools, how quickly we deliver them -- or most importantly, how we find capacity," CFAC Co-Chairwoman Billie Redmond said. "(At) the end of the day, it's all about the seats for the students."

Redmond said she believes some of the concepts in the report could be implemented in a matter of months and that many could be in place by the fall. Other ideas would take longer to implement, she said.

CFAC will meet with researchers of the report, DeJong Inc. and Summit Consulting Services LLC, on Feb. 13 to review the study in further detail.

A public hearing is scheduled for Feb. 27 at North Carolina State University's McKimmon Center.


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