Posted at 4:40 p.m., Nov. 17, 2015

College awarded extra for constructin costs

New building underway

Shari Johnson



The Wyoming Community College Commission granted Laramie County Community College an increase of more than $2.4 million to complete the construction of the Flex-Tech Building on Oct. 20.

The Flex-Tech Building was estimated to cost more than $14 million but according to LCCC President Dr. Joe Schaffer’s letter to the commission, the cost during the project’s Level II phase increased to more than $16.5 million.

Any increase in the total cost of an approved project beyond a 10 percent threshold, “requires additional approval by the WCCC,” according to Schaffer’s letter. Schaffer attributes the increase in cost largely to the rising cost of construction.

“At Level II, the estimated cost per square foot was $216.10,” the letter reads. “After the bids were awarded, the cost rose to $255.84 per square foot.”

The near $40 increase per square foot led to the decision to decrease the original floor plans from 49,513 gross square feet to 46,736, saving the college more than $700,000.

Because of the new construction, roads have yet to be rerouted to improve the flow of traffic and minimize safety hazards, and according to the letter, requires additional site improvements to mitigate storm-water drainage and landscaping, adding more than $1.2 million to the project.

Funding to complete the Flex-Tech Building has been secured by the revenues of the college’s general obligation bonds and some institutional plant funds, according to the letter.

However, the letter states the project includes 10 alternate bids that are part of the overall cost of the building. To avoid the possibility of insufficient funding for bids accepted, Schaffer requested and was approved the full amount of more than $16.5 million “in anticipation that we will be able to secure the total funding required.”