Maryville school built $1.1 million under budget

5:29 PM, Apr 24, 2012   |    comments
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The new Coulter Grove Intermediate School features plenty of bells and whistles.

"All the classrooms have the latest technology," said Barry Brooke, Executive Vice President of Lawler-Wood, LLC, the developer for the school.

Every classroom comes equipped with a computer, smart board, projector-- even a wireless audio system to make sure students can hear their teachers.

Classes don't start until the fall, but construction alone is proving to be a valuable lesson.

"As I say, prior preparation prevents poor performance," Burke said.

Lawler-Wood was able to deliver the school $1.1 million under its $26 million budget. Some savings came with 2008's economic downturn.

"We started grading in October 2008, and the day before Thanksgiving I was given directions to stop grading," Brooke said.

Once the bond markets improved, the project was re-bid

"In December 2009 we had it down to $28 million, then we got it down to $26 million, then ultimately delivered it at $25 million," Burke said.

The savings will pay for nearly all the road improvements needed in front of the school. Maryville will then reimburse the school system for the work.

While economic circumstances like 2008's can't be predicted, Brooke says the project still offers valuable lessons for future school construction.

"Its a process of checking your pricing as you go along, and being smart about everything you're buying, procuring, who you're contracting with on the project," he said.

The school will be for 4th through 7th grade students. It will open for the 2012-2013 school year.

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