COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
P. O. BOX 2120
RICHMOND, VIRGINIA 23218-2120
SUPTS. MEMO. NO. 143
September 19, 1997

INFORMATIONAL

TO: Division Superintendents
FROM:
 
Richard T. La Pointe
Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT:
 
 
Public School Buildings Put Under Contract Between 
July 1, 1996 - June 30, 1997 With Individual and Average
Cost Data by School Type

 
  Attached are:
     1.   A list of new public school projects put under
            contract in fiscal year 1996-97 with
            individual and average cost data by school
            types;

     2.   A list of selected addition and renovation
            projects in fiscal year 1996-97 with
            individual and average cost data;

     3.   A 6-year (1991-92 through 1996-97) tabulation
            of average unit area and cost data; and

     4.   A graph, based on the above, indicating the
            change in public school construction costs
            over a 6-year period.

  For the first time we have identified site development cost
  (included in total construction cost), as a separate item for
  your use.  Our thanks go to the school architects for
  providing this additional information.  The average cost per
  square foot rose dramatically over the school year (13% for
  elementary, 20% for middle, and 16% for high schools).  The
  increased costs can be attributed to a strong construction
  market which reduces competition, the inclusion of full
  technology in most schools, and the continued rise in the
  amount of square feet per pupil as more special use spaces are
  added to school programs.  

  The last six months (March through August 1997) has seen a
  drop in projects submitted and a leveling of prices which may
  indicate a more reasonable inflation rate of five to six
  percent for the 1997-98 school year.  However, the projected
  large investment in school construction by North Carolina in
  the next few years could influence bidding in Virginia and
  lead to higher costs for future projects.

  If you have any questions concerning the above, please call
  Hunter L. Barnes, Architectural Consultant, Facilities
  Services at (804) 225-2035.

  RTL:cle

  Enclosures:  A hard copy of this memo and its enclosures
               will be sent to the superintendent's office.