Portable Classroom Unit Costs - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Portable Classroom Unit Costs

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"Every project we do now goes in front of what's called the capital funding protection committee to say, for authorization of these projects," says Pete Etchart, Chief Operations Manager with the Washoe County School District, "We get that authorization and we go publicly bid."

Authorized to spend up to $1 million, the Washoe County School Board approved funding for recommended projects at its meeting Tuesday. The recommendations come from School Overcrowding Management Plans and were finalized by district officials and Superintendent Traci Davis. 
The projects total $956,000 and about 70 percent of that will pay for two portable classroom units, budgeted for $333,000 each.

Etchart says the building itself is about $145,000, "gas, water, electric, plumbing, all of that goes into it, and once it's placed, we also have to put in the IT and the furniture."

District officials gave Channel 2 a breakdown of its budget:
Civil engineering on the site, (grading, utilities, etc.): $89,000 
Civil engineer design: $17,000
Ramp and Stairs with installation: $20,000
IT equipment: $17,000
Furniture: $13,000
Contingency Budget (unexpected costs): $30,000
Permitting and Bidding: $4,000

At a cost of $333,000 the portable classroom units are higher than the median home value in Washoe County, which is $298,000 according to Zillow.com.

Officials say with a public bidding process the cost is as low as can be for the district, "everything we do at the school district is publicly bid, so we receive bids for all the different work." He says the work always goes to to the lowest reasonable bid and staff is always looking for more bidders.

"We kind of have a labor shortage here in Nevada and it's hard sometimes to get bidders, there is a lot of work going on," says Etchart, "But we always try to encourage more bidders to do our projects and then we publicly bid them."

It is also important to note that $333,000 is the budget for each portable, but the actual cost could go down. For example, a portable classroom unit at Kate Smith Elementary School cost about 80% of the budgeted cost.

To see a list of past projects and the bids click here. Each school has projects listed with bids with the "Capacity Heat Map."

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