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Per Student Construction Costs of Rebuilding Treasure Mountain Junior High Seem Astronomically High

I was having dinner with a friend last night, when the subject of the cost of rebuilding Treasure Mountain Junior High (TMJH) came up. She said, “What’s the estimated cost to rebuild Treasure Mountain?” I said, “$26 million.” She said… “$26 million? For 2 grades? TWO GRADES?!?!”

I hadn’t thought of it that way.

This morning I was trying to figure out how much per square foot it costs to build an elementary school. The best study I found was out of Texas. They noted that costs vary by region but they’ve attempted to account for that. It seems that the average cost per square foot for an elementary school in Texas (as of 2103) was $149. Ours is much higher than that.

Yet, there’s a much more interesting point I believe. In the Texas study, they calculate the cost per student of building an elementary school at capacity. That number is $17,461 per student. Now let’s take our school district’s number of $26.2 million in costs to build a new TMJH and divide it by the number of students in 5th and 6th grade during 2014-2015 (773 students). I would assume we wouldn’t want to build the school with too much extra capacity in order to make sure that open enrollment doesn’t impact us too much. Given that, the cost per student served is $33,893.

Those costs are 94% higher per student than in Texas. I know we want The Best Schools in America™, but are our schools going to be 100% better than those in Texas?



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