Sunday, October 13, 2013

Gloucester, VA Page Middle School Construction Information

We continue to receive more information on the Page Middle School decisions process.  We think everyone will find the information below very interesting.

"County records reflect the Page Middle School building, its contents and property in the open were insured for a total of $13,513,744 at the time of the April 2011 tornado.  At the end of the negotiation process, the insurance carrier’s settlement offer to fund returning the school to an upgraded and functional state was $8,235,687. Due to initial low estimates by the insurance carrier, the County contracted RRMM Architects to provide an in depth assessment and analysis of the damage.  In RRMM’s assessment and analysis packet they elaborate on their solid knowledge of the building and its general character due to an April 2009 contract with the County to do a study on conversion of Page Middle school into an Administrative Operations Center. This professional services contract was extended about a month prior to the tornado. (This makes it clearly evident of the County’s intent to keep the building and property long term.)  In their assessment RRMM noted several areas in which they disagreed with the insurance carrier’s assessment.  In all fairness to RRMM, the areas they disagreed with appear to be justified and would have enhanced the safety, quality and durability of the building significantly.  RRMM’s final estimate of damages was $9,994,355.  That is a difference of $1,758,668 with both estimates being under the $13,513,744 coverage limit. 
Because of its age it is only reasonable that the utility infrastructure servicing the building would have needed to be upgraded or replaced.   These costs would in no way have been as high as what it will now cost to install the same infrastructure to the school site on T.C. Walker Road.  The parking and driveway areas would have needed to be upgraded to compliment the rest of the re-construction.  For arguments sake, let’s say all of that would have cost $2,000,000. (Very high estimate)  Let’s say RRMM’s estimate turned out to be the correct cost to rebuild.  Let’s say the County kicked in another $2,000,000 to make the building even better and storm shelter capable.  That would have been a total of $5,758,668 that the County would have contributed to opening a fully functional school building.
How did this repair and reconstruct project that should have cost the County less than $6,000,000 out of pocket turn into a twenty plus million dollar project that is going to result in tax increases beginning next year and substantial loan interest payments for twenty years?"
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