The globalization of the construction industry, with high demand for steel and concrete from China, has fueled construction inflation in recent years. But while many school districts in Florida are dealing with double-digit increases in the price of construction materials, Sarasota County has been hit particularly hard because it is a coastal community.
Florida building code says the district must construct schools able to withstand a higher wind speed, and that adds significantly to the bottom line, said the district's construction services director, Charles Collins.
School district officials hope the price of construction materials drops before they break ground on the project this spring.
The new school will be built on the current campus while students attend the old building. The 1958 Paul Rudolph structure, which architects and local developers petitioned to save this year, will be demolished once the new school is finished.
The architects associated with Save Riverview have long maintained that there is great value in the concrete, steel and glass already in place in the Rudolph building.
This latest cost estimate shows that this value is very important and must be retained. We are working with the school board to make sure they are aware of the value.