Renovations, additions to Friendswood High School altered due to rising construction costs

​​​​​​​At the Nov. 8 Friendswood ISD school board meeting, PBK Architects and Satterfield & Pontikes Construction Company presented updated plans to help reduce the cost of construction. (Rendering courtesy PBK Architects and S&P)
​​​​​​​At the Nov. 8 Friendswood ISD school board meeting, PBK Architects and Satterfield & Pontikes Construction Company presented updated plans to help reduce the cost of construction. (Rendering courtesy PBK Architects and S&P)

​​​​​​​At the Nov. 8 Friendswood ISD school board meeting, PBK Architects and Satterfield & Pontikes Construction Company presented updated plans to help reduce the cost of construction. (Rendering courtesy PBK Architects and S&P)

Rising construction prices have brought a need for updated plans to the renovations and additions at Friendswood High School.

At the Nov. 8 Friendswood ISD school board meeting, PBK Architects and Satterfield & Pontikes Construction Company presented updated plans to the board of trustees to reduce the cost of construction. Despite having to make changes, no programs have been eliminated from the project, according to board documents.

The high school renovations come from the $128 million bond FISD voters approved in November 2020. Some of the major components of the bond are the adding of a new performance space for FHS and a new Cline Elementary School to replace the old one.

According to the board presentation, the budget for the renovations is $51.6 million and the estimated guaranteed maximum price is sitting at $59.8 million. As of Oct. 28, the cost was estimated to be about $67 million with all of the renovations, additions and maintenance items, according to the presentation.

To reduce the project cost, PBK Architects recommended the district make some major changes to renovations and additions, including reducing design elements in the high school courtyard, eliminating amphitheater seating in the black box theater and removing side balcony box seats in the auditorium, according to updated renderings.



Many of the other changes have to do with using different construction materials as well as different amounts of material to help bring the cost down.

However, trustee Robert McCabe said he was worried about what the reduced costs might mean for the quality of the projects.

“When you say a better way to do a foundation for cheaper, I don't understand that concept," he said. "We had a design of the foundation that I would think when we were getting [the designs] the first time was the best way at the cheapest price.”

Part of the reason for increased costs is that building materials prices have increased between 34% and 81% since 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' Producer Price Index.

The final project cost estimate is due Dec. 1 and will be presented to the board for approval at the Dec. 13 board meeting.

By Sierra Rozen

Metro Reporter, South Houston

Sierra joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in September of 2021 after graduating with a degree in communication and a minor in journalism from St. Edward's University in Austin, TX. Sierra covers all things in the South Houston area but in particular covers Friendswood ISD, Friendswood City Council and Harris County METRO. Prior to CI, Sierra served as the viewpoints and life and arts editor for Hilltop Views, as well as interning for Austin Woman Magazine.



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