Child care construction costs climb |

Child care construction costs climb

Tamara Miller

EAGLE COUNTY – The cost of the planned Berry Creek Child Care Center is about $200,000 more than planned, even after county commissioners increased the project’s budget.The county has budgeted $2.6 million for the child care center, which will be built in Edwards’ Miller Ranch. But the contractor, R.A. Nelson, estimates it will cost more than $2.8 million to build the center now that the commissioners want to use the second floor as offices for local nonprofit organizations. Part of the problem appears to be the commissioners expected the $2.6 million would be enough to build the two-story building. But representatives from R.A. Nelson construction told the commissioners this week they did not include items like the cost of hooking up utilities in their original estimate. “I’m assuming that this is a turnkey project, that the ($2.6 million) will finish the building,” said Commissioner Tom Stone. The budget for the project has grown over the past two years as the boards’ ideas for the project have gotten bigger. In 2003, the board budgeted $1 million for a child care center, then another $500,000 was added. Last year the board the decided to add a second floor with office space and a community room that could be rented out to the public. That added another $1.1 million to the project, reaching the $2.6 million budget they have now. Apparently that isn’t quite enough.Eliminating the community room’s kitchen and keeping office spaces unfinished could reduce the project’s cost, said architect Doug DeChant of Shepherd Resources, Inc. Eliminating features on the outside of the building, such as a formal second entryway, also could help the project come closer to the $2.6 million budget. But it also will take several weeks to make new drawings and thus, delay ground-breaking, DeChant said. That left the commissioners weighing the cost of the child care center with the cost of postponing construction. “I’m committed to getting this child care center started soon,” said Commissioner Arn Menconi, adding he still wants space for nonprofits on the second floor. The board is expected to make a decision next week when it meets with the contractor and architect.Staff Writer Tamara Miller can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 607, or, Colorado

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