HPHS Bid Less Than Budgeted

When spending $360 million-plus to overhaul Highland Park Independent School District, it’s expected that some projects will go over budget while others — hopefully — will cost less than anticipated.

An overestimate on the projected budget for the northwest addition at Highland Park High School has resulted in a savings of $6 million, district leaders said.

What that means is that those dollars will be shifted to a contingency fund and either used to pick up the slack for projects that go over budget or for enhancing other projects, said HPISD communications director Jon Dahlander.

“The new elementary school came in a little over budget (more than $3 million), so we’ll be able to apply some of the savings back towards that project,” Dahlander said. “We’ll see how things shake out as we continue to progress in these various projects, and maybe we can apply savings elsewhere, too.”

Early project estimates forecast that building a storm shelter under the addition would cost about as much as adding a parking garage, Dahlander said. Once the project was bid, he said the numbers proved to be much lower.

Dahlander also said the programming for the northwest addition is less expensive than regular classrooms, so savings also were realized there.

The adjustments knocked the price tag down to about $22.2 million.

As of press time, construction on the northwest addition was anticipated to begin in November.

The addition will expand band, orchestra, and choir halls, and add 30 classrooms, four labs, two resource rooms, and two flex spaces to the high school.

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