EDUCATION

Spiking construction costs affect Tooele school projects

Mar 3, 2022, 6:19 PM | Updated: Jun 19, 2022, 9:45 pm
(KSL TV)...
(KSL TV)
(KSL TV)

TOOELE, Utah – Rising construction costs are putting a financial strain on the Tooele School District. 

It is short about $55 million to build a new junior high school. 

Construction prices in Utah have spiked 40% in the last year. 

“We’re just seeing unexpected, unprecedented cost escalation here in the last year,” said Kendall Smith, vice president of the building division for Hughes General Contractors. 

It’s a real sticker shock for Smith’s clients. 

He’s currently working with the Tooele County School District. 

“We’re going to have to look at the projects we have going forward,” said Mark Ernst, Interim Superintendent of Schools for Tooele County School District. 

In 2020, voters approved a $170 million dollar bond to build an elementary, junior high and high school in Tooele County. 

Here’s a breakdown of how the district planned on spending that money: 

Prices have jumped significantly and now the district says it won’t have enough money to build the junior high. 

“55 million dollars is our worst-case scenario,” said Ernst. 

This appears to be a trend all across the state. 

“Every school district that has budgeted 2, 3 years ago are experiencing the same thing,” said Smith. 

Twenty Wells Elementary is set to open this fall in Grantsville City. Deseret Peak High School will have a groundbreaking next month and the new junior high school is expected to begin construction in Stansbury Park in 2021. 

For now, the district said it’s working on a plan with contractors to cut costs and generate more money. That could mean projects will be put on hold. 

“Really looking very hard at how we are spending our money to make sure we can do right by our voters,” said Ernst. 

Smith said tough decisions are coming but he cautioned some cuts might be more expensive down the road.  

“It’s a shame to cut square footage and then realize two years later that you would need it and now it costs even more for that square footage. That’s something that they have to wrestle with.” 

Tooele School District said one of the options it will not consider right now is asking voters to approve another bond. 

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Education

The University of Arizona is waiving tuition and fees for undergraduate students enrolled in one of...
Harmeet Kaur, CNN

University of Arizona will waive college tuition for Native students in the state

The University of Arizona announced this week that it will soon waive tuition and fees for undergraduate students enrolled in one of the state's 22 federally recognized tribes.
7 days ago
Baker-Berry Library on the campus of Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, U.S., on Friday, ...
Amir Vera and Melissa Alonso, CNN

Dartmouth College eliminates undergraduate student loans, replaces them with scholarship grants

Dartmouth College announced Tuesday it was eliminating student loans for undergraduates and replacing them with "expanded scholarship grants," the university said in a news release.
15 days ago
FILE: The U.S. Supreme Court is shown on April 25, 2022, in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Kevin Dietsc...
MARK SHERMAN, Associated Press

High court rules religious schools can get Maine tuition aid

The Supreme Court has ruled that religious schools can’t be excluded from a Maine program that offers tuition aid for private education.
15 days ago
A Davis County School District getting ready for it's new lawn....
Jed Boal, KSL TV

Davis School District showcases their water saving efforts

Many Utahns are cutting their outdoor watering amid the drought. The Davis School District aims to cut their outdoor water use nearly in half.
21 days ago
Salt Lake Community College...
Madison Swenson, KSL TV

SLCC found to have violated Title IX, Section 504 following pregnancy discrimination investigation

The Salt Lake Community College was found Tuesday to have violated Title IX and Section 504 after the school allegedly encouraged a student to drop a course because she was pregnant, and did not provide her with academic adjustments or necessary services during her pregnancy.
21 days ago
Active shooter training is underway at Roy High School....
Dan Rascon, KSL TV

‘We are preparing for the worst’: Utah officers train for an active shooter in a school

Officers from five police agencies across the Wasatch Front are at Roy High School this week for some critical active shooter training.
23 days ago

Sponsored Articles

hand holding 3d rendering mobile connect with security camera for security solutions...
Les Olson

Wondering what security solutions are right for you? Find out more about how to protect your surroundings

Physical security helps everyone. Keep your employees, clients, and customers safe with security solutions that protect your workplace.
Many rattan pendant lights, hay hang from the ceiling.Traditional and simple lighting....
Lighting Design

The Best Ways to Style Rattan Pendant Lighting in Your Home

Rattan pendant lights create a rustic and breezy feel, and are an easy way to incorporate this hot trend into your home decor.
Earth day 2022...
1-800-GOT-JUNK?

How Are You Celebrating Earth Day 2022? | 4 Simple Ways to Celebrate Earth Day and Protect the Environment

Earth Day is a great time to reflect on how we can be more environmentally conscious. Here are some tips for celebrating Earth Day.
Get Money Online...

More Ways to Get Money Online Right Now in Your Spare Time

Here are 4 easy ways that you can get more money online if you have some free time and want to make a little extra on the side.
Lighting trends 2022...

Lighting Trends 2022 | 5 Beautiful Home Lighting Trends You Can Expect to See this Year and Beyond

This is where you can see the latest lighting trends for 2022 straight from the Lightovation Show at the Dallas World Trade Center.
What Can't You Throw Away in the Trash...

What Can’t You Throw Away in the Trash? | 5 Things You Shouldn’t Throw in to Your Trash Can

What can't you throw away in the trash? Believe it or not, there are actually many items that shouldn't be thrown straight into the trash.
Spiking construction costs affect Tooele school projects