School renovation costs raising serious concerns

CHESTERFIELD, Va. (WRIC) — Renovations for Monacan High School were originally estimated to cost $14 million, but it wasn’t until recently that Chesterfield County Supervisors found out the cost of renovations were actually going to be $17.2 million, $3.2 million over the original estimate.

Now county leaders are trying to find out what went wrong, concerned other estimates could come in over budget as well.

“We have 9 additional projects to do and we have a certain amount of money to do those. We need to be sure that we can complete the needed work within the appropriate budget,” said Supervisor Dan Gecker.

Gecker says $14 million was approved by the board for the project, but he says it appears the school system knew it would cost more last year but never adjusted its budget when requesting money from the board.

“I don’t know where in the school division the lapse occurred and so that’s one of the things that our committee will investigate,” said Gecker.

We contacted school board chair Carrie Coyner for comment but have yet to hear back.

“That’s a considerable amount of money to be off,” said parent Jason Lacy.

Lacy says he’s concerned this wasn’t a one time mistake.

“A few mistakes like this and it could be detrimental to a lot of projects that are really needing to get done,” said Lacy.

“As we move forward we hope to have better estimates so we won’t see this circumstance arise again,” said Gecker.

The school system does have an $8 million capital reserve. Gecker says the money will most likely come from there. County leaders will discuss this project and what went wrong at their upcoming meeting on May 20th.


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