Architect: Hurricane Harvey could affect labor, construction costs for San Marcos CISD bond projects

Although it is too soon to tell, labor, construction and other building costs could be increasing as soon as a month from now, according to the architecture firm hired to handle San Marcos CISD’s bond projects.

Koleman Uresti, the architect hired to tackle the school district’s new elementary school and other campus improvements, said inflation is expected thanks to the destruction caused by Hurricane Harvey in late August.

“We’re really keeping an eye on [costs]," he said Monday night during a SMCISD board of trustees meeting.

He said right now, residents are busy cleaning the debris—the drywall, the ruined flooring, the caved-in roofs and other damage caused by the hurricane—but in about a month, subcontractors will start to move toward the demand on the Texas coast and in Houston, causing labor costs to rise here.

“[Contractors] know they can afford to raise the prices,” Uresti said.

He said material and transportation costs are also slated to rise.

Some of the ways to curb rising costs is to vary procurement methods, such as doing competitive sealed proposals, meaning contractors bidding for the projects will not know what the other contractors are bidding, according to Uresti.

He said another option the school district may have to consider is alternate funding sources.

“I think it’s something we may have to look at,” he said, adding he would bring cost estimates back to the board next month.

Uresti said the bond projects are on track, with the schematic design of the new elementary school—to be located in the upcoming Trace neighborhood—approved by the board Monday.

In October, the board will get an update on the new transportation center and the budget for the new elementary school. In the next week, discussion on programming for the classroom addition at the high school will start, and in two to three weeks, the developers will start discussion on reroof options and interior finish out for Hernandez Elementary School, according to Uresti.


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