According to Guilford County Schools, construction costs have increased by 50 percent since the $300 million in 2020 school bond projects were planned.
Guilford County Schools has said that it will cost an estimated $450 million to build the $300 million in projects that were planned.
Assuming that the school officials are being honest and accurate in the estimated 2022 construction costs, it doesn’t look good for the projects that the City of Greensboro is planning to build with its $135 million in bonds on the ballot for the July 26 election.
One of those projects, the combination of the Vance Chavis Library and the Windsor Recreation Center – which are now on opposite sides of Gate City Boulevard – was estimated to cost $70 million. The City Council said that it planned to spend $50 million of the $70 million in parks and recreation bond money on this project. Where the city was going to get the additional $20 million was not spelled out.
But Mayor Nancy Vaughan said that Chairman of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners Skip Alston had said that the county would put in some money and that they also hoped to get some money from local businesses and foundations.
So, going in, the city has a $20 million deficit on a $70 million project. But if the schools are correct and construction costs have increased by 50 percent, the Vance Chavis-Windsor facility would cost $105 million not $70 million.
That would mean that if the City Council decided to use the entire $70 million in bonds for the Vance Chavis-Windsor facility, which it has every right to do, it would still come up $35 million short. Even with $70 million in bonds, $10 million from Guilford County and $10 million from private sources, the city would still be $15 million short.
With Guilford County looking at a $150 million deficit in funding for schools, even Alston might not be able to come up with the $10 million for a city project. The county has no obligation to pay anything for a city recreation center and branch library.
If the city only uses $50 million in bond money for the recreation center and branch library, the city may be starting out with less than half the money to fund the project.