Updates from the March 30th Building Committee Meeting

During the Andover High School Building Committee Meeting on 3/30/2023, HMFH Architects and PMA Consultants presented preliminary cost information for the Courtyard (Addition/Renovation), Campus 2 (New Building), and Campus 2 with New Theater (New Building) remaining site approaches, the Town Manager gave a preliminary summary of tax implications for the project, and results of the March 2023 community survey were shared.

Feasibility Design Cost Estimates

The project team prefaced the cost discussion by explaining any cost figures presented during the current Feasibility Design stage are preliminary, and are used to compare the 3 site approaches and inform the Building Committee’s decision on a final, preferred building option. At this stage, the construction costs are based on the gross floor area of the different buildings, and escalated using industry standard multipliers to arrive at a total project cost.

Two professional estimators – Ellana (selected by PMA, owner’s project manager) and PM&C (selected by HMFH Architects) – independently determined cost estimates for each approach, then came together to reconcile the estimates. The process included a meeting held between both estimators, PMA Consultants, HMFH Architects and their sub-consultants to analyze the independent estimations, including verifying quantities, unit costs, and scope captured by each firm. As a result, construction estimates were reconciled within approximately 3% for the addition/renovation approach, and 1% for the new building approaches.

In keeping with adherence to standard procedure set by the MSBA, numbers from the designer’s professional estimator become the cost estimate of record, so PM&C’s figures were presented during the 3/30/2023 Building Committee meeting.

The project team explained the pricing structure, categories of expenses, and what comprises construction costs and total project costs. Essentially, the construction costs include all the “brick and mortar” expenses that are required to construct the building and site, along with the associated markups including cost escalation, bonds/insurance, contingencies, etc. The construction costs do not include soft costs which makeup the difference between construction costs and the total project costs. Soft costs include items for owner contingencies, architecture/engineering costs and additional services, owner’s project manager costs, testing, furniture/fixtures/equipment (FF&E), etc.

The preliminary base Feasibility Design Phase Total Project Cost Estimates for the Andover High School Project presented during the 3/30/2023 Building Committee meeting were as follows:

  • Courtyard (addition/renovation):  $567,864,000
  • Campus 2 (new building, renovate Collins Center):  $503,821,000
  • Campus 2 with New Theater (new building):  $480,847,000

Estimates were also presented for additional aspects of the project which do not need decisions at this point in the project and that the Building Committee will have an opportunity to consider as the design progresses including:  upgrading the mechanical plant from the base option to air source heat pump or geothermal ground source; use of a heavy timber structure in public areas of the building; providing sustainable irrigation through rainwater harvesting or groundwater wells; installing porous pavement in parking areas; providing artificial turf on the plateau field; adding a parking garage; providing a new skate park; and providing sports lighting. These additional costs change based on the preferred approach (courtyard, campus 2, or campus 2 with new theater) and are included on page 2 of the summary project cost estimates.

The individual reconciled construction cost estimates (without the soft cost markups) for the Ellana estimate and PM&C estimate have been provided for reference. Additionally, the construction cost estimate (again without soft cost markups) as presented at the 3/30/2023 Building Committee meeting to breakout potential scope via alternates can be found here.

Initial Look at Tax Implications

The Andover Town Manager provided an update on the preliminary, anticipated tax impacts using estimates for the Campus 2 with New Theater base site approach. The slide also includes a chart showing the impact of various level of debt service at different interest rates.

It was noted the impact to taxpayers will vary based on interest rate at the time of borrowing, and that borrowing will occur at multiple times during the project (not just once), so multiple different interest rates will influence borrowing cost and taxpayer impact.

March 2023 Survey Results

The project team also provided an update on the results of the community survey that was conducted between 3/1/2023 and 3/15/2023.

Thank you to everyone who took time to respond to the survey. The information collected will help the Building Committee understand the community’s priorities for a future project and inform the Committee’s decision to recommend a preferred building option on 4/6/2023.

Upcoming Meetings

Here is an overview of the path forward for the Feasibility Phase of the project:

  • April 6th (morning): Andover High School Building Committee votes to recommend a preferred building option (Courtyard vs. Campus 2 vs. Campus 2 with New Theater)
  • April 6th (evening):  Preferred option presented to the School Committee for their consideration
  • April 13th:  Community Forum #7
  • April 10th or 24th:  Preferred option presented to the Select Board for their consideration

Additional cost detail can be found in the presentation from the 3/30/2023 Building Committee meeting. Please note there are some minor revisions made to the presentation that are noted. The meeting was also recorded by AndoverTV and is available in their meeting archive.