By Tory Newmyer Staff Writer
Hamilton County commissioners are set to approve $1.1 million to cover extra costs on the renovation of the Howard School of Academics and Technology, but they are not happy about it. "There’s something very, very wrong when we can’t head off some of these things," Commissioner Charlotte Vandergriff said at the commission meeting. "This is very disturbing to me." The overruns will bring construction costs close to $15.2 million. With architectural and engineering fees and other expenses considered, the total tab for the project should top $16.7 million, said Gary Waters, assistant superintendent of auxiliary services. Mr. Waters on Thursday attributed the extra costs to unanticipated problems with asbestos, a state order to install sprinklers in the elementary school and other factors.
Some commissioners said the Artech architects and Campbell and Associates engineers should have anticipated the overruns. If commissioners had known the costs would escalate so high when they approved the project last year, they might have voted to build a new school instead, Commissioner Fred Skillern said. He noted with the extra costs, the school revamp is more than 10 percent over budget.
Commissioners will vote on whether to supply the funds on Wednesday. Work on the project is due to finish in November, Mr. Waters said.
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