Why do school buildings cost so much?

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from HollywoodMogul. Show HollywoodMogul's posts

    Why do school buildings cost so much?


    School cost at $154m and rising

    Aldermen cite lack of progress, accountability

    Some Newton aldermen, critical of the way the proposed $154 millionNewton North High building project is being managed, say the cost ofthe most expensive school project in the state could rise by tens ofmillions of dollars.

    "We've spent quite a bit of the budget and seen very little workcompleted," Alderwoman Amy Sangiolo said Thursday. "And we're notgetting the kind of information we should be receiving from theexecutive department and our project manager."

    Sangiolo's concerns were shared Wednesday night with aldermen at apublic facilities subcommittee meeting, where some aldermen expressedfrustration over what they said were delays, a lack of accountability,and poor accounting and communication.


  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from mommm. Show mommm's posts

    Why do school buildings cost so much?

    are you from Mass ?

    school buildings do not cost alot here cause the state pays for most of them

    that makes them mostly free...

    what part of that don't you understand ?

  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from gfkr2. Show gfkr2's posts

    Why do school buildings cost so much?

    I can think of no good reason why Massachusetts does not have standardized design plans for schools. Standard plans would take much the guesswork out of how much a school building would cost taxpayers. The extras and unknown that ultimately drive-up construction costs would also be minimized. If a town wanted to build a school-shrine, the taxpayers in the local city or town would foot the bill versus the entire Commonwealth. I know special interests have forced laws that prevent this type of efficiency that could potetially save millions $$$. School Building Standardization is the way if our elected leaders have real courage!!

  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from marchingmom. Show marchingmom's posts

    Why do school buildings cost so much?

    I would agree there should be standardization and then anything above and beyond like the fully wireless, performing amphitheatre's (formally known as an auditorium) and Olympic size pools becomes the responsibility of the municipality if that's what they want for their kids and can afford it, why not? But then, that's how we got this 'free and not equal' system we currently have, right? My kids currently don't even have a foreign language available to them. Forget the buildings, FIX THE FUNDING FORMULA!

  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from boblat. Show boblat's posts

    Why do school buildings cost so much?

    Standardizing building plans is unacceptable.

    Standardizing building plans would cost the development lobby money.

    The development lobby spends a lot of money on elections.

    Massachusetts pols know where their priorities lie.

  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from zendor26. Show zendor26's posts

    Why do school buildings cost so much?

    Massachusetts has one party Bolshevik rule that is the tool of the the public employees unions.

    And when the local school boards decide to construct these palaces and monuments to public waste and government excess they know that there is no-one who can stop them so they continue to feast from the public trough, raid the public treasury, thumb their noses at the compliant electorate and build their monuments to themselves.

    You people voted for it so shut up and continue to pay for it. When political pluralism returns to the People's Republic Of Massachusetts you may then have a chance to prevent these abuses of the public trust. Until then you're screwed.

  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from marchingmom. Show marchingmom's posts

    Why do school buildings cost so much?

    I want to say that change may have been relatively recently within the last 5 years or so when they finally figured out there was an issue with town's attempting to build Taj Mahal's. I could be mistaken on that, but I don't think so.

    They also, from what I understand , won't fund a project where the town allowed their building to basically fall apart and then think the state's going to come bail them out.

    It took our town 2 votes to refurbish one of our schools as a debt exclusion because people didn't understand we were going to get about 80% back from the state. Once it was explained properly, it didn't 'fly' through, but at least the parents (??????) voted for it then.

    I'm so glad I came from a generation of parents who were willing to invest in us as kids. That is not the case now. It's absolutely apalling to me how the social contract is broken between this generation of kids and adults. You should hear how my town talks about families and everything is prefaced with 'and it won't be a drain on the town'. So just tell us you want a town with no children already and we'll move! All the current proposed housing projects in town are for senior and singles housing, 1 bedrooms so we make our 10% affordable housing, Great, just what we need, more people that say 'No' to the kids.

  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from boblat. Show boblat's posts

    Why do school buildings cost so much?

    You raise a good point, in that the construction unions are very aggressively part of the problem as well.

    An excellent example of just how bizarre things get is to look at the Department of Conservation and Recreation, the City of Cambridge, and the Charles River.

    Cambridge's government stays in place as a result of strong combined lobby, the Cambridge Pols, which brings together a whole bunch of interest groups including the interests of nine members of the Cambridge City Council in getting reelected.

    A few years ago, the DCR took a pol. The results of the pol indicated that a clear majority of people thought that the Charles River was perfectly good as is and did not need to be improved.

    So the DCR along with the City of Cambridge are aggressively improving something which does not need to be improved and tossing in whatever lies will do the trick.

    One of the key lies is that the City of Cambridge runs around calling itself pro-environment. On a tertiary level, they are pro-environment. What the Cambridge Pols never talk about is the extreme destructiveness of the government on a primary level.

    The DCR spent four years promising all comers that their "improvements" to the Charles River would not "harm" the Charles River White Geese, a highly gaggle of geese who have lived for 25 years withing half a mile each way from the BU Bridge.

    So in September 2004, Cambridge and the DCR started starving the Charles River White Geese. The DCR explained its four years of promises by saying that they do not consider starving them to be harming them.

    The Charles River White Geese fed for those 25 years off grasses accessable from the Charles River by land. In September 2004, the City of Cambridge finished up a sewer project in the eastern half of the habitat across from the Hyatt.

    They heartlessly, on completion, left a wall barring access to the grasses in that half of the habitat from the Charles River.

    At the same time, Cambridge and the DCR barred the eastern half of the food of the geese at Magazine Beach. They destroyed the wetlands between Magazine Beach and the Charles River by trucking it away. They put in three walls barring access to the grasses from the Charles River.

    The following year, a typical group of "non profits" explained this destruction in a photo op which bragged that the destruction was going to improve swimming.

    So the DCR and Cambridge put in a wall of bizarre bushes that blocked access to the Charles for swimming.

    Perhaps most visible in this supportive nonsense was a developer funded group which has distinguished itself for the last several years by destroying as much protective vegetation on the Charles as they can get away with. Each year for four or five years now, this vile entity has poisoned as many eggs as they can get away with of water birds nesting near the Charles River.

    This environmentally destructive developer funded group calls itself the Charles River Conservancy.

    Now the DCR and the City of Cambridge plan to dig up seven acres of perfectly good grass at Magazine Beach and replace it with grass and poisons. Addition of more of their beloved poisons to the Charles River has been prohibitted by the EPA. Will that stop them?

    They want their kids rolling around in these poisons. What do you think?

    Well, last I heard, the City of Cambridge was arguing that it does not have to respect civil rights guaranteed by federal law because Cambridge's laws to not protect those civil rights.

    A MCAD examiner has found probable cause of discrimination, but Cambridge is going to a further level to defend its "right" to discriminate against specific handicapped persons.

    That issue is over a guide dog. A lady claims that that cops sicced a pit bull on her guide dog in the front office of the police station. Conveniently, the cops neglected to put film that day in the camera which is always on in that lobby.

    We have truly reprehensible governments. They use very reliable and destructive front groups to keep things going.

  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from billski. Show billski's posts

    Why do school buildings cost so much?

    Schools are not free because the state pays for them. Where do you think the state gets the money from? Same pockets. What part of "not free" don't you understand, mommm?
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from zendor26. Show zendor26's posts

    Why do school buildings cost so much?

    The hypocrisy and tryanny of government in Massachusetts at all levels are reasons why I finally got fed up with their elitist arrogance and left. And their willing enablers in the electorate have been so completely indoctrinated into one party rule Massachusetts is now totally behind the iron curtain and will remain so for decades to come.

    You folks are getting a first hand lesson into the tactics, propaganda and rhetoric the Soviet Union used during its occupation of eastern europe.

  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from marchingmom. Show marchingmom's posts

    Why do school buildings cost so much?

    You must work in my town! Schools put in such a request to fix 2 school roofs. At the 11th hour, the Selectmen pulled it from the warrent never consulting with the school department. I stood up and asked were they going to wait until the roof came down on someone's head?
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from marchingmom. Show marchingmom's posts

    Why do school buildings cost so much?

    "They want their kids rolling around in these poisons"

    Funny you should mention. I grew up in Cambridge, don't live there now and I sincerely say 'unfortunately' because even with all the issues you raise, I would trade it all to have my kids properly educated.

    Anyway, I think you'd have a case if you check out the number of woman that I graduated with that grew up in a certain area of East Cambridge who developed breast cancer. It's just too bizaare to be coincidence.

  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from boblat. Show boblat's posts

    Why do school buildings cost so much?

    Cambridge Rindge and Latin was rebuilt in the 70's on top of a heavily wooded park which, in turn, was between the Library and Cambridge Street. There are maybe 10 massive trees remaining in that area. 20 to 30 were destroyed.

    Responsible construction would have rebuilt the school in place and used that massive park as part of the school campus as it had been used for 100 years in accordance with the wishes of the donor, Frederick Rindge.

    Instead the city destroyed that magnificent park and installed a barren open space at Ellery and Broadway, obvious landbanking. That is where the replacement buildings should have gone.

    The city claimed replacement of the massive trees with 50 or more saplings, most in front of the library.

    The Cambridge Pols organization, as usual, bragged about it.

    Then came phase II, which would have been impossible without the landbanking.

    ALL those beautiful trees in front of the Library were destroyed.

    The people who yelled the loudest were the backstabbers from the Cambridge pols organization from the 70's protecting their Judas gold. If they had behaved in a responsible manner in the 70's rather than as syncophants to an environmentally destructive city government, they would have gotten an excellent school and kept an excellent park.

    They played with the Devil. They got burned.

    They yelled and they got treated as the backstabbing environmental destroyers they are.

  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from marchingmom. Show marchingmom's posts

    Why do school buildings cost so much?

    Not to mention the fact the only thing left of my beloved high school building is the archway. I bring my kids 'home' to show them where mom went to school and show them the arch, as well as my elementary that's not my elementary any longer.

    Did they ever hear of 'historic preservation'. My class was the 2nd to last CHLS class. My mom graduated in 1950. Leroy Anderson, Peggy Cass, etc. must be rolling over. I was always told it was the second oldest high school in the country.

    The way I heard it, some bean counter decided it would be cheaper to ship the kids who wanted a technical education off to Lexington's Minuteman Tech. and so the decision was made to keep the Rindge building because it was newer and probably because there was some sort of endowment and Alumni Assoc. and tear down CHLS. Now there's Rindge School for Tech. Arts, so what was it all for?

  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from boblat. Show boblat's posts

    Why do school buildings cost so much?

    It was for all those lovely professionals and blue collars who make money out of destroying and rebuilding.

  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from trottier. Show trottier's posts

    Why do school buildings cost so much?

    I went to elementary school, in a very old, run down building, so the town

    decided to built a new one, on donate land , all the way across town(we walked). this was 1952, and the school was new and morden, yet 2 years

    later, the 6th grade , had to move out, do to lack of space, and move into the basement of the high school(dark and depressing, in the meantime, the new school , was having all kinds of problem, poor heating, one side too much, other side too little. roof leaked, and the field had such poor drainage, it flooded all the time. repairs went on forever, and finaly after

    all this extra money, it was decided, it was a bad design(ha ha). today we need a new highschool, and in the 3 years its been on the town agenda, the cost even before the first shovel has been put into the ground, has almost doubled. its insane, and right now it will take 5 years to build, have we come a long ways or what?, the reason of course is money, tax payers money, the pool of money waste is never empty. even at the top, reinbursment from the state(not likely), this town will be saddled with a monster, sucking the towns people dry. and they is just the tip of the iceberg, I have seen a lot in my 65 years, or I thought I did, but the town always finds way, to make the old blunders look mild, school are, the money pit of our towns, sort of like a massport, MBTA or other state

    money sucking dept. keep the taxs coming, and keep the people leaving, that should realy tell the tale down the road.

  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from boblat. Show boblat's posts

    Why do school buildings cost so much?

    Awhile above, there was a discussion of the wanton destruction of Cambridge Latin School at the same time as Cambridge destroyed Library Park.

    Nine city councilors and the DCR are in the process of continued massive environmental destruction on the Charles River.

    A just reelected School Committee member has supported that destruction in the name of the kids. He has problems with kids rolling around in playing fields which are now clean and are maintained without poisons. His "improved" playing fields at Magazine Beach are targeted to be maintained with poisons, phosphates.

    The predecessor to this project is the DCR project at Ebersol Fields near Mass. General Hospital. The beloved poisons did not work (and were not previously needed), so the DCR applied Tartan, labelled prohibiting use near water. The next day, the Charles River was dead with fungus from the harbor to the Mass. Ave. bridge.

    This school committee member bears striking resemb;lance to the people who fought for the outrage at Cambridge Latin School. The people who fought for this outrage fought for massive environmental destruction (all those century old trees) and accepted Judas gold in return. Perhaps 50 saplings on a totally different and inferior part of the Libary location than Library Park. Cambridge has now destroyed those saplings for a project which would have been impossible with the prior configuration of the library-high school area.

    And the project could and should have been done in place 30 years ago without environmental destruction.

    The "fighters for the kids" were the biggest opponents of phase 2 of their destructive high school reconstruction which destroyed all the saplings which were their Judas gold.

    In Cambridge, the words are always great. Reality frequently puts the lie to the holier than thou words.

    PS: Destruction of that magnificent park was in spite of the fact that the park and the rest of the library site was contributed for library purposes and not for ordinary municipal purposes such as a school building.

    But then again, the EPA is prohibiting new sources of phospates INCLUDING for the Magazine Beach project, which is the currently pending environmental destruction. The City of Cambridge's hypocritical self-proclaimed "environmentalists" have yet to express regret at their phospates going into this area which rather clearly is an area where the DCR says no new phosphates.

    Cambridge has a very bad government, especially when measured against Cambridge's holier than thou public statements.

  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from gfkr2. Show gfkr2's posts

    Why do school buildings cost so much?

    I believe Mass. state law prohibits standard school design at this time. All municipal building plans must be selected on the basis of design excellence and the architects' experience with similar projects. This is an example where special interests, architects and engineers, had our legislators of yester-year pass costly laws.

  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from gfkr2. Show gfkr2's posts

    Why do school buildings cost so much?

    Humm...How about repealing the so-called prevailing wage law that forces cities and towns to pay the highest possible union wage for all public construction projects? Paying unskilled labor $50/hour to put down asphalt of $70/hour to drive a truck causes construction costs to skyrocket.

    I could understand (maybe) if these higher wages resulted in better quality construction. They do not as evidenced by the Big Dig and smaller failed projects throughout Massachusetts. The quality of construction suxs for the money invested.

    I blame union greed and the lack of courage by the elected State Reps and Senators. Where is the leadership with our Legislators to change a bad law to save taxpayers money?!!

  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from boblat. Show boblat's posts

    Why do school buildings cost so much?

    In Cambridge, I don't think it is a matter of lack of courage. It just looks to me like they are on the wrong side and spend a lot of time lying through to their constituents, either directly or through the massive Cambridge pols political organization.
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from bugmenot. Show bugmenot's posts

    Why do school buildings cost so much?

    The MSBA came on the scene too late.

    Over the past 15 years the state spent $16 billion on new school construction.

    Contractors bid on multiple projects knowing that they won't be able to complete the job on time but can make up the cost and time with change order increases. Their lawyers know that schools don't have the deeppockets for protracted legal charges and most suits are settled with the contractors splitting the "bond" money.

    It was a nice scam while it lasted.

    Ever wonder why the schools form the turn of the century can be rehabbed yet schools built in the late 60's get torn down?

    Massachusetts never hasa nd never will be able to build a building, highway or other public structure cheaper than the private sector.

    The Umaas Amherst / Bostan campus contruction in the early 70's were soo corrupt and shoddy that the #1 and #2 leader in the State Senate had to resign (paving the way for Biilly Bulger)

    In the late 60's Rt 93 from Medford to 128 was widened fron 3 to 4 lanes. To make the contruction area 55 gallon drums painted orange with flashing lights were used. An Audit revealed that the contract for 3 years was leasing the barrels from a subcontractor at a total cost of 4 x the cost of buying them outright.

    HIstory repeats itself.

  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from mrhox. Show mrhox's posts

    Why do school buildings cost so much?

    One good reason to not have a standard is that every school and town has different needs that would not all be meet by the standard design.

    If a town is going to spend this absurdly the state should cut funding. If they are willing to spend this much then the state should take back what it had given, put it some place it's really needed, and let Newton build a whatever they want. Spoiled brats...just think what that kind of money could do in a struggling school system.

  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from FCivian. Show FCivian's posts

    Why do school buildings cost so much?

    Wow . . looks like the passion is getting WAY ahead of the facts here.

    1 - State funds: when we built a new middle school in Dedham the state paid for th basics and Dedham taxpayers - if they choose to do so - paid for extras above the basics . . example for us was a gym big enough for 2 full basketball games, one with spectators . . the same state rules apply to Newton . . as one poster said, the state is paying for $46 million and Newton taxpayers the rest . . that means that we state taxpayers are NOT paying for what you all those Newtonian extras

    2 - frills: in Dedham we send kids who want to learn trades to the voc schools . . Newton keep sthma at tehir hihg schools . . so their schools have kitchens, shops, etc., that a lot of other high schools don't have . . and those things - like the student run restaurant - are built as classrooms for kids who want to learn trades . . . college isn't for everyone, even in Newton**

    3 - democracy: if Newton citizens vote to tax themselves for a school that in YOUR community would be too much, that's OK . . that's the way democracy works . .in Dedham we concentrated on the basisc because we knew Dedham taxpayers would pay for little more than the basics

    4 - replace or rebuild: the generic problem with rebuilding is that - same as with a house - once you rebuild over a certain amount state codes require that the entire building be brought up to current codes . . . that adds significant costs to rebuild over and above the costs of the rebuild alone . . in Dedham it was CHEAPER to build a new middle school than it would have been to rebuild

    5 - construction costs: here's hwo it works: schoosl are legally required to award to the qualified bidder with the lowest bid . . these companies then find legal ways to add costs . . our final cost for the low bidder were - surprise surprise - about the same as the next highest company . . . this has little to do with unions and more to do with preventing public managers from picking their favorites instead of the best qualified

    ** But I still want the right to swim in that luscious poll!

  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from seanomac757. Show seanomac757's posts

    Why do school buildings cost so much?

    It stinks that in the past 5 years my tax money has gone to pay for 2 new schools in Hudson that I don't use. I don't have any kids, I live and work in a town where snow plowing is at a minimum every winter, the roads are a mess, yet we have a brand new high school, almost brand new elementary school, and now they want to completely redo the junior high. Not to mention the senior center, another builing I have no use for yet will have to pay for. Its a joke.
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from mtbr1975. Show mtbr1975's posts

    Why do school buildings cost so much?

    Actually that is not true, the tax payers of Newton are paying for most of the school.