What Does a New School Cost

With at least two new schools to be built in the next couple of years, you must be wondering how much a new school costs. In our case, we have all properties already acquired so there is a saving before we begin. It was estimated in 2014 that the average cost for an elementary school was in the range of $200-$250 per square foot. It high dollar areas, the costs could go into the $300s. For planning purposes, we will use an average of $250 per sq ft for both Panguitch and Bryce Valley. To replace the current square footage of Bryce Valley Elementary School with a school of equal size, 34,600 sq ft would cost close to 9 million dollars. Since in the beginning this school was a K-12 school, there is a reduced need for that much square footage. Today’s plan would call for a school of 21,000 sq ft or a cost closer to $5.25 million. Panguitch Elementary School would require a school at close to 26,250 sq ft or costing a little over $6.5 million. Combined, both schools are projected at about $12 million.

While it was originally perceived to build one school at a time, since closing out all capital debt service bonds several years ago, the district has been fortunate to have saved almost enough to begin the construction of both schools at once. Our hope is to attract companies willing to bid less for two building rather than just one at a time. We also hope this process allows both schools to be completed faster than normal because of the increased workforce that would be brought in. Currently PES has about 43,625 sq ft of floor space but will be sized down substantially. In addition, both new buildings will be bid with full-sized gymnasiums, which may add up to $500,000 per site extra. Combining all of those costs with demolition, we may need closer to $14 million before we begin the projects.

Tracy Davis