I would like to look locally at Baltimore and the building of new schools---the rehabbing of old ones allowed to stay open. I have gone on and on about the corruption in the funding structure via credit bonds but let's look at what will become the next fleecing of citizens of Baltimore----as always
THE BIDDING IS RIGGED AND THE CONSTRUCTION CORPORATIONS GETTING THESE AWARDS WILL WALK AWAY WITH TONS OF MONEY THEY WOULD NEVER GET UNDER RULE OF LAW.
You see the first problem below-----the construction materials costs have been allowed to soar because all this construction is part of the Federal stimulus. If the FED says inflation is 0-1% then a government should only allow that inflation rate to attach to these government projects. We all know these construction costs represent greater than 5% inflation and upwards to 200% inflation. Obama and Clinton neo-liberals made one of their first priorities opening the US to being a raw material exporter ------placing oil, natural gas, mineral, and timber harvesting on steroids. The Northwest----home of our last rain forests were opened to harvest timber just so it can be sold for more money in China. Now we are told, because global market pols are sending all of our basic resources overseas----we must pay more to get them here in the US. The environment is being killed as is American wealth.
The next thing that makes these costs soar is the awarding of local contracts to national construction corporations which intend to pad these costs just as we see below.
THINK A COMMUNITY CAN HIRE PEOPLE IN A COMMUNITY TO USE MATERIALS FROM DEMOLISHED BUILDINGS TO CONSTRUCT SCHOOLS FOR LESS THAN $75 MILLION DOLLARS?
Baltimore has enough brick to build the Empire State Building twice for goodness sake.
Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - Page updated at 12:00 AM
School construction costs soar
By Lynn Thompson
Times Snohomish County Bureau
NORTHWEST ARCHITECTURAL CO.
This high school will be built off Cathcart Way and Highway 9 in the south end of the Snohomish School District.
Three school-construction projects in the Snohomish School District likely will cost about $21 million more than budgeted because of sharply escalating prices for construction materials.
The rising prices as well as few bidders in a red-hot regional construction market also could affect high schools planned for Granite Falls, Lynnwood and Marysville.
Higher-than-expected construction costs for an elementary school planned to open in fall 2007 in the Snohomish district have driven up the project's price tag from $17 million to an estimated $23 million, said Karen Riddle, the district finance manager.
The projected cost of a new Snohomish-district high school has risen from $68 million to $76 million. The estimated cost of a major renovation to Snohomish High School has climbed from $64 million to $71 million.
The Snohomish School Board has "looked at all the gory details for several months," Riddle said. "We've been hit with huge construction-cost inflation."
The board is to meet at 7 p.m. Aug. 2 to adopt new budgets for the three projects, approved by district voters as part of a bond measure in 2004.
Several planned features of the new high school will be made optional when the project goes to bid in September, including a performing-arts center, junior-varsity baseball and softball fields, and artificial turf on the field for football and soccer.
The district may also have to scale back the renovation of Snohomish High School because of the higher costs.
Riddle said the district is aggressively pursuing additional state matching funds and continues to receive mitigation fees from county developers to help offset the increased project costs.
Causes of inflation
Until three years ago, school-construction costs in Washington had risen a steady 3 to 4 percent annually, according to state figures. But a booming regional economy, the upcoming 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver, B.C., and the globalization of the construction industry, with high demand for raw materials from China, have combined to fuel inflation.In the past three years, costs have risen considerably.
In 2003, the state average for new construction was $161 per square foot. The new Snohomish-district elementary will cost $239 per square foot. Two contracts awarded this month for new elementary schools in the Highline School District, south of Seattle, will cost $271 and $273 per square foot, said Carter Bagg, who administers matching funds for school construction for the state Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction.
The price of structural steel, concrete and copper used in wiring have all climbed sharply the past few years, Bagg said. He said districts also have been hurt by the lack of competition in bidding for public projects.
Only two contractors bid on the new Snohomish-district elementary. A new elementary under construction in the Everett School District had only one bidder when the contract was awarded in May, Bagg said.
"There are so many jobs under way or planned that contractors can be choosy," he said.
Edmonds School District voters in February approved a new $86 million Lynnwood High School as part of a $140 million bond package. So far, the design of the new school hasn't been scaled back, said Ed Peters, the capital-projects director for Edmonds schools.
"Like everybody else, we're very concerned. We're watching the market and updating our cost estimates," Peters said. "We're doing everything we can to avoid being surprised on bid day."
New strategies tried
The Granite Falls School District will open bids on a new, 800-student high school Aug. 8. Kathy Grant, a district spokeswoman, said the district has actively marketed the project through ads in journals aimed at the construction trade.
The district also is offering incentives to attract more construction firms to the project, including a guarantee of no change orders, a waiver of some costs and a financial bonus for on-time completion.
"We're trying to be really creative. To my knowledge, it's never been done before," Grant said.
Whether the strategies attract more bidders and keep costs down is uncertain.
"We won't know for sure until August 8," Grant said.
The one plus in a city left with boarded, abandoned real estate is the city can make large sections of a community PUBLIC REAL ESTATE AT NO COST AT ALL. Look below where public school costs are tied to high real estate costs. Baltimore Development is pushing this as hard as they can in city center Enterprise Zone communities----rising real estate costs and taxes create a community of affluent people after all. THIS DOES NOT HAVE TO AFFECT PUBLIC BUILDINGS as lots can be claimed for almost nothing.
I built houses for Habitat so I know what goes into construction costs. The cost of dry wall is soaring ----WELL THEN, BALTIMORE NEEDS A SMALL MANUFACTURING PLANT THAT MAKES DRY WALL TO SELL LOCALLY. Concrete blocks are next-----WELL, BALTIMORE NEEDS A SMALL MANUFACTURING PLANT FOR CONCRETE BLOCKS USING ALL OF THE CONCRETE RECYCLED FROM OUR UNDERSERVED COMMUNITY UPGRADES.
Cost of copper for plumbing and electric is high? What cannot be found from demolished structures can be imported from overseas to Baltimore in bulk for future projects.
Notice last line of this article----it is the building codes creating high costs. Building codes are there to protect citizens and to assure quality -----THAT IS NOT EXPENSIVE.
THIS NATIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECT WILL SEE ALL THESE COSTS SOAR WITH MANIPULATED INFLATION.
School construction costs soaring | Posted Oct 13th, 2008 @ 12:40pm 50
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- The state's largest school district is struggling with increasing construction costs.
In 2003, an elementary school building cost the Jordan School District $7 million. But now that same plan costs $15 million, said Randy Haslam, the district's director of new construction.
The district says the cost of materials has risen along with the cost of land. Increased copper prices have driven the cost of electrical systems up by at least 200 percent. Drywall costs up to 90 percent more and land that used to go for $50,000 an acre is now $300,000 or more. "We're at the mercy of those changes," Haslam said.
All new schools being built by the west-side district -- which expects an additional enrollment of 20,000 children by 2016 -- will be on year-round schedules so they can house more students, Haslam said. "The number of students we need to house is screaming for more buildings," Haslam said.
And Jordan is not alone, said district Superintendent Barry Newbold. "I've spoken with architectural firms across the valley and they're saying the same thing," Newbold said.
Jordan and other school districts enjoyed stable costs for almost everything needed to build a school for many years. Between 1998 and 2003 the rate of inflation on construction costs was in the single digits, said Burke Jolley, deputy superintendent for business services at the Jordan School District.
In 2004 the increases began -- the year after voters in the district approved a $196 million bond to fund school construction. But because the bonding estimate was based on past costs, the district was unable to build two middle schools and an elementary school it had planned. "You just run out of money," Newbold said.
Using a two-story design on elementary schools -- usually only middle and high schools are multilevel -- can save on land costs. But Newbold said the new approaches only help so much. "You don't save much on the building, because you still have to make code, which can be costly," he said.
Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune
Below you see California Planning Committee telling us how complex and costly all the planning for school building can be. Today, because we have no public works sector in cities like Baltimore every single public project planning goes to corporations and outside 'consultants' that tag on huge costs to all projects when all we need is a middle-class public servant toiling away at a life-long career earning good wages to give the same planning information.
The article below states the obvious----cities and towns across America do not have these public sector employees because of the few decades of dismantling the entire public sector by Clinton neo-liberals and Bush neo-cons.
THE FIRST STEP IN ALL COMING INFRASTRUCTURE UPGRADES IS TO REBUILD OUR PUBLIC WORKS ----NOT TO LOSE HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS ON CORPORATE PLANNERS AND CONSULTANTS.
We are not simply building new school buildings today---we want to use this to rebuild our public works for the future. The article below is written by corporations to make the building of schools sound SO COMPLEX. You simply need population studies and projections and REBUILD THE COMMUNITY AROUND THIS SCHOOL.
In Baltimore, we could rebuild new schools for all communities with just the money that falls out of Mayor Rawlings-Blake's and Baltimore City Council President Jack Young's pockets during pay-to-play Board of Estimate meetings in one year.
Public schools are essential public infrastructure assets. Their condition, utilization, and design
impact educational performance and local neighborhoods.
So many states, including California,
face tremendous needs in modernizing their older schools and building new, high quality
schools for a rapidly growing population. Recognizing this great need, the Capitol Forum
sought to investigate the factors affecting school construction costs in California. The Center
for Cities and Schools conducted this study because we have a keen interest in school and
community planning for the built environment and because school construction costs are so
central to decisions about public education infrastructure.
Policymakers need a more informed understanding of public school construction to build
effective policy. In addition, a public that grasps the challenges and constraints of public school
construction and renovation is more likely to sustain their support for this important public
investment. Amidst a climate of increasing construction costs and increasing demands on the
public purse, this study analyzes school construction processes and costs for policymakers and
Public school construction is immensely complex. The amount of coordination, planning, timing,
skilled professionals, and capital required to build schools is tremendous. It was no simple task
to sort through public planning, design, and construction processes. This is, in part, due to the
lack of quality data and information on school construction cost, schedule, and scope, but it is
also because little research on these processes exists.
In this report, we translate and provide clarity on the practices and policies affecting school
construction. Through the interviews, focus groups, and analysis of project level data, we
did the due diligence to educate ourselves and translate the construction world to others.
This report is our attempt to bring order to what is a fast-moving, high dollar value, and very
important public activity. Still, continued empirical research and analysis is needed to create a
deeper understanding – with clear definitions and ample information – to fully unveil the policy
and practice behind public school construction
Jeffrey M. Vincent
Center for Cities and Schools
When I walk downtown Baltimore looking at demolition and reconstuction all I see are global and national constuction corporations and even the recycling of demolished building has been given to national corporations that get all this recycled material for their own profit-----where Baltimore City could be getting all that recycled material with citizens living in the communities where this demolision could be part of the process shown in this video.
Wall Street Baltimore Development and Johns Hopkins has all stages of Baltimore's development tied to global corporations and Wall Street so every ounce of Baltimore's history goes to a few and not to the citizens that paid taxes for decades to maintain the structures being taken down. This is how you rebuild a local economy----all of this needs to be done first by rebuilding the public works department which then will stimulate small businesses. The city needs this machinery----communities need these small factories---WE DO NOT NEED GLOBAL CORPORATIONS BRINGING IMPORTED BUILDING MATERIALS AND INFLATING COSTS BY 200%! Our public school costs in Baltimore reflect this super-sizing of prices. It is why only a few of schools will fall under these credit bond school construction bills.
Sorry to say Machado Construction is not a small, local business folks.
Machado & Sons Construction Inc.
1000 South Kilroy Road
Turlock, CA 95830
Ph: (209) 632-5260
Fax: (209) 632-3963
House demolition - 98 % Recycled C & D Recycling
Uploaded on Feb 24, 2012Demolition of a House Located in Bloomington Illinois. The materials from the home were recycled at Henson Disposal of Bloomington. The rate was 98 %. In some parts of the video you will see some of the actual wood from the home going though the recycling process. Henson Disposal provides recycling of construction and demolition materials.
The problems for local school building in Baltimore will mirror the Maryland State Private Health System technology development. All these Federal funds are either awarded by the Federal government to a global corporation that then builds local business operations around the nation and acts like it is local. The City of Baltimore never receives those funds in many cases. The second problem comes from corrupt bidding awards that are geared towards pay-to-play and not for what is good for the local community. That is what happened with the Maryland Health System's award.
There were tons of Federal funding sent via Race to the Top that should more than pay for one of the more expensive costs of new schools----the infrastructure for technology. THAT WAS WHAT MOST OF THE RACE TO THE TOP FUNDS WERE TO DO. Fast forward to today -----and you can bet that Baltimore City schools and all that money for technology has no oversight and accountability and much was probably lost to the classrooms.
IF BALTIMORE CITY HALL REBUILDS OVERSIGHT AND ACCOUNTABILITY ALL THESE FUNDS ALREADY AWARDED COULD FULLY FUND TECHNOLOGY STRUCTURES FOR ALL CITY SCHOOLS. OTHERWISE----MOST WILL BE LOST TO FRAUD AS USUAL.
Ed tech company folds after receiving millions in Race to the Top funds
By Emma Brown May 6
An education technology company has folded after receiving millions of dollars in federal Race to the Top funds to provide online assessments and other services to school districts.
Charlotte-based Thinkgate LLC shut down last week, according to state education officials in Ohio and Massachusetts, two states that used Race to the Top money to contract with the company.
Their joint contract with Thinkgate does not expire until the end of the school year, leaving some schools scrambling to fill the void left by the company’s closure and some parents concerned about the security of student data in the company’s systems.
The company also had statewide contracts in North Carolina and Illinois, and altogether served more than 500 education agencies and 3 million students, according to its Web site.
Thinkgate chief executive and founder Eric Waynick did not respond to e-mail requests for comment Wednesday and calls to his office were sent to a voice mailbox that was full and not accepting messages.
The growing company had 70 employees last year when it moved from Atlanta to Charlotte, and it had been planning to hire another 120 people, according to the Charlotte Business Journal.
Ohio and Massachusetts teamed up to sign a joint contract with Thinkgate after each state promised, in their 2010 applications for Race to the Top grants, to create “instructional improvement systems”: Online platforms meant to give teachers a one-stop shop for accessing academic standards and curriculum; creating classroom tests aligned to state academic standards; and storing and analyzing student test scores and other data.
The joint contract covered two school years, 2013-2014 and 2014-2015. Education officials in both states said they hoped that at the conclusion of that period, school districts that liked the system would sign individual contracts with Thinkgate.
But last week the company went out of business, surprising educators in both states.
Ohio education officials were informed on April 28 that Thinkgate would be going out of business within two days, according to an e-mail from a state official to school district superintendents
“If you would like to keep and use any assessments that you have created, you will need to immediately print and save them before the system shuts down,” said the e-mail, obtained by The Washington Post.
Ohio, which received about $400 million in Race to the Top funds, has paid Thinkgate $9.8 million to date for its services, said John Charlton, a spokesman for the state education department. More than 300 school districts signed up to use the system in 2013, he said. In 2014-2015, fewer than 150 school districts were using the system.
Mark Neal, the superintendent of the Tri-Valley Local School District, criticized the state education department’s contract with Thinkgate as a waste of time and money, and he said the company’s sudden closure raised questions about the security of children’s private information.
The contract “was a dismal failure that ended exactly in the way that most parents and educators were most concerned about. Student data in the hands of for-profit corporations,” he wrote in a text message.
Charlton said that the Thinkgate contract includes safeguards regarding secure storage and destruction of data. Ohio’s student data has been transferred to a secure server in the state, he said.
Massachusetts education officials also said that student data would be destroyed in accordance with state standards. Approximately 60 of Massachusetts’s 400 school districts were using the Thinkgate system.
Officials could not immediately say how much Massachusetts has paid Thinkgate to date. The state received $250 million from Race to the Top.
Officials in both states said they could not immediately provide a copy of the Thinkgate contract.
If you attended the series of public forums where citizens were allowed to sit and hear what was already developed and decided about the school building in Baltimore it was painful to watch. The article below was written by an arm of Baltimore Development that simply moves policy forward no matter what. This article tells of all of the consulting and analysis that went into deciding whether a community and school was sustainable----what factors worked into deciding to close a school----rehab it----or build new.
I sat and listened to impassioned pleas from communities wanting their schools open often going as far as providing their own analysis and often proving data presented by these outside consultants were not even true----WHICH IS ALWAYS THE CASE WITH EDUCATION AND BALTIMORE.
There was no analysis----this is simply the Master Plan created in the 1980s that sees Baltimore as this International Economic Zone with super-large corporate campuses replacing what are many of Baltimore's surrounding communities. That is what school closings are about.
IF WE ARE NOT GOING TO INSTALL A BALTIMORE AS AN INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC ZONE---THEN WE NEED ALL COMMUNITIES AND NEW SCHOOLS.
TOUGH MARKET-BASED DECISIONS------
I spoke back then at these meetings making it clear that Baltimore City had all the funding it needed for all school construction WITHOUT USING CREDIT BONDS OR CONSULTANT FIRMS.
Rebuilding schools, rebuilding Baltimore
Thousands are choosing city life; if we build better schools, they will stayFebruary 04, 2013|By Tom Wilcox, Wes Moore and Tom Bozzuto
Over the last 10 years leaders from the private, public and nonprofit sectors have begun to transform Baltimore's approach to its future. Traditional public subsidies have given way to strategic investments and tough decisions, using market-based techniques to reform our schools, rebuild our population, and make our neighborhoods safe, clean, green and vibrant.
Now, the General Assembly must do its part to strengthen the city's future by passing legislation to reshape how the city makes improvements to its public school buildings. The city's plan is straightforward and achievable: act aggressively now to build or rebuild our school buildings and give every child in the city a welcoming school environment that will help engage them in learning.
It is a proposal that will help kids, create a stronger school system, bolster the city's prospects for growth and benefit the entire state.
Legislators must be reminded that Baltimore has already taken many hard steps to improve its educational system. A "choice" system gives middle and high school students the opportunity to "vote with their feet," with dollars following those students to the best-performing schools. A union contract sets a national standard for holding teachers and principals accountable for their students' performance. And focused initiatives have increased the high school graduation rate and the number of preschoolers who are "ready for school." And schools that fail to meet increasingly rigorous standards are being closed.
These steps and more show that our civic and private leaders are serious about creating great schools that will change the trajectory of inner-city youth while attracting the middle class families necessary to any city's success.
Now, the focus is on providing a physical environment in Baltimore schools comparable to that in schools across Maryland. The legislative proposal to revamp the school system's capital process would lead to major and accelerated improvements in our school buildings, benefiting kids, teachers, staff and families.
The school system has done its homework, commissioning a study that put a price tag on infrastructure needs in every school building in Baltimore, and it has developed a plan that would shutter buildings, cut or merge programs, and renovate or rebuild 136 buildings.
The city schools bond financing plan to rebuild its inadequate infrastructure may be the best opportunity that Baltimore has had in a generation to cement its revitalization. Under the plan, an independent entity would be created to borrow significant funding through a bond issue to jump-start much-needed capital improvements, and use state and local funding to repay the bonds. It's important to note that the plan requires no extra money from the state, just a commitment to stand by current annual commitments. The timing is perfect. Interest rates are low; construction costs are manageable.
This effort in the General Assembly must be viewed not simply as a bricks-and-mortar educational initiative. Rather, it is part of a comprehensive effort to push for major changes that can move Baltimore forward and restore the city's role as an economic engine for Maryland.
The signs of momentum are apparent, whether it's ongoing downtown development, the bustling rental market driven by young professionals' interest in city life, or the emerging high-tech economy fueled by robust educational, medical and federal institutions. Across the city, private sector initiatives such as Healthy Neighborhoods Inc. are reestablishing "middle neighborhoods" that have wonderful assets but need a boost to continue to strengthen.
The bottom line is that thousands are choosing city life. If we can improve the schools they will stay. These young people can, by themselves, fulfill Mayor Rawlings-Blake's modest goal of attracting or developing 10,000 new taxpaying citizens.
The nonprofit Teach For America already pledged to fulfill 10 percent of the mayor's goal by helping their teachers engage in neighborhood leadership opportunities as they develop lasting ties with our city.
Such commitments from the nonprofit sector must be met by similarly ambitious initiatives from the public sector that enhance city life and build a business-friendly environment.
We have pressing goals: reducing crime, building a better transportation infrastructure that supports employment opportunities, and fostering an energetic business environment. But perhaps overriding them all is the need for a strong school system that will attract new families and new employers.
There is more hard work ahead to capitalize on the educational progress already achieved, but we can take a major step forward right now by changing how we build our schools.
A quarter century ago, state leaders overcame a host of issues to finance and build not one but two stadiums, leading to the winning seasons we now celebrate. Surely we can come together now to give our youth and our city and state the future they deserve.
Tom Wilcox is President of the Baltimore Community Foundation. Wes Moore is a best-selling author and host on the OWN television network. Tom Bozzuto is Chairman and CEO of the Bozzuto Group. All are trustees of the Baltimore Community Foundation.