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Budget for joint-use school project upped by nearly $9M to address cost concerns

The project's overall status continues to remain at "moderate risk," according to the latest report.
joint use school location
The official location of Moose Jaw's joint-use elementary school in Westheath, to be completed by 2023. (photo by Larissa Kurz)

The budget for the joint-use school project appears to be back on track after the provincial government increased funding for construction by 25 per cent over the summer.

In May, the project’s budget was considered “high risk” because of inflation, an increase in estimated school costs and increases in estimated land development costs. The latter two problems added nearly $7 million to the project’s total cost.

By June, the project’s budget status had fallen to “moderate risk” after the ministries of Education and SaskBuilds and Procurement increased the total construction budget by 25 per cent, or roughly $9 million. 

“Accordingly, the project will be approved provided the lowest compliant bid does not exceed roughly $44M ($35M + 25 per cent),” the project status report said.

The status of the project’s budget was still considered “moderate risk” in July, according to that month’s status report.

Trustees with Holy Trinity Catholic School Division received the June and July project status reports during their recent August meeting. The August status report will be presented during the September board meeting.

The latest status report said that the project’s overall status continues to be at “moderate risk” because of the schedule adjustment made to accommodate the delay in the design process that addressed the budget concerns. 

The final design documents were to be submitted to the province by late July, with the government to review the documents and complete the process by late August. SaskBuilds and Procurement issued contractor pre-qualification documents in late July and expected to receive submissions of those documents by late August.  

The project’s scope remained at “moderate risk” in recognition of the potential revisions that could be required pending the tender results. 

The report added that the schedule remains at “moderate risk” in recognition of the potential time required for design changes and necessary reviews should the lowest compliant bid exceed the budgeted construction cost. However, the final school completion date of September 2024 “remains achievable albeit challenging.”

The next Holy Trinity board meeting is Monday, Sept. 19. 

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