Construction hiccups at will cost an extra $4 million as the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District works to complete a series of improvements at the Santa Monica campus.
"We had a budget bust," said Director of Facilities Improvement Stuart Sam.
The Board of Education approved the new budget, now at $21.59 million, at its most recent meeting, singing praises for staffers who have kept the project on track despite growing costs.
Sam attributed the "bust" to conditions of the buildings which weren't known until the crews began their work, such as finding concrete where planners had predicted their would be wood framing and finding hazardous materials that needed to be disposed of.
"You just don’t know what to expect [until] you open up the walls," Sam said.
The project includes three construction phases: the addition of movable classrooms and utilities; the modernization of science labs, classrooms and fire sprinklers; and the replacement of building C with a two-story
library and classrooms building, consisting of a new chorus room, two science labs, a shared prep room, storage and restrooms.
The added $4 million will help pay for the third and final phase of construction.
District staffers initially set the Lincoln budget at $17.59 million. It is funded by Measure BB, a bond measure passed by voters in 2006 to pay for repairs and renovations at campuses across the district.
The budget change on the Lincoln project is "incredibly high" compared to other Measure BB projects, said Board of Education chairman .
The average request to increase a project's budget is about 3 percent. By comparison, the budget change approved July 18 for the Lincoln project is 22.7 percent.
"Lincoln was really our first big modernization project," said chief financial officer Jan Maez, who added that other projects were either newer or smaller and thus required less sizable change-orders.