What we know today about costs...and what we don't

Cost to taxpayers?

The direct cost to Winchester taxpayers is not yet known but will be driven by:

  • Construction Cost

  • Project Cost

  • MSBA Reimbursement Rate

  • Net Project Cost

  • Bonding terms - length & rate

  • Property Tax Assessment

Construction Cost

is primarily the cost of hiring a contractor, including materials, labor, general conditions and the contractor’s overhead and profit. Most often we think of this as including key building elements, such as:

  • Excavation and Foundations

  • Structure (steel or timber)

  • Envelope enclosure (exterior walls including windows, doors and a roof above)

  • HVAC, Plumbing & Electrical scope

  • Walls, Painting, & Hardware

  • Sitework: paving, pathways & landscaping

The space program voted by the School Committee in December 2021 for review and approval by the MSBA is a bit larger than presumed in the 2017 School Facilities Master Plan, with seven (7) Pre-K classrooms, additional K-2 classrooms, and a number of other dedicated educational or support spaces deemed necessary as the Educational Plan was developed this winter. At 83,500 net square feet as voted, the design team estimates a New Lynch of approximately 103,000gsf (gross square feet). Until a preferred schematic design is developed, an estimated construction budget (construction cost) for a potential project may range from $50 million to $60 million depending upon the solution that is agreed upon and ultimately approved by a vote of the MSBA’s Board of Directors. If the larger space program voted by the School Committee is approved, we can expect a construction cost closer to $60 million. If not, we can expect a lower construction cost closer to $50 million. The project team expects feedback on the space program sometime in February to early March. It is important to note that conceptual cost estimates have been developed only for purposes of comparing one site development option to another and are not based on any schematic design option, as this level of detail comes later, in the so-called PSR development, to be submitted to the MSBA in March.

Project Cost

Construction costs do not include all items and expenses needed to build a project. Architecture & engineering fees, contingencies for unforeseen issues, legal fees, owner-provided items (such as furniture, fixtures and equipment), testing/inspectional services, builder’s risk insurance, project management costs and moving costs-- to name a few-- are considered Project Costs and can add significantly to the bottom line. It is too soon to determine the project cost for the New Lynch as many key elements have yet to be determined, including the number of stories (two or three?), location on the site, construction logistics and the scope of swing space needed or preferred. A better understanding of project cost will come in March as the project team finalizes the Preferred Schematic Report (PSR) filing for MSBA Board approval. Another driver of project cost is the actual construction delivery method, be it traditional "Design-Bid-Build" (DBB) or "Construction Manager - at Risk" (CM-at-Risk). Although the CM-at-Risk model can be more expensive, it brings the potential for a shorter construction schedule and streamlined logistics. Winchester is experienced with both approaches and the EFPBC will evaluate these options as the PSR package is developed.

Net Project Cost

A detailed Project Funding Agreement (PFA) will be included in the MSBA Board vote in September. The PFA will establish the baseline level of cost reimbursement (or construction grant) for the Lynch project but will also define a number of project incentives for additional reimbursement. At this time we estimate an MSBA reimbursement rate of between 30% to 40% of eligible expenses (similar to our experience with the Vinson-Owen school and Winchester High School). It is important to note that a number of project expenses are ineligible for MSBA reimbursement, including swing space.