Spiking construction costs cause $55 million shortfall for Tooele County School District

Mar 3, 2022, 7:25 PM | Updated: Mar 4, 2022, 12:04 pm

Students walk to their buses following school at Rose Springs Elementary in Erda, Tooele County, on...

Students walk to their buses following school at Rose Springs Elementary in Erda, Tooele County, on Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020. Photo credit: Steve Griffin, Deseret News

TOOELE, Utah — Skyrocketing construction costs are causing a $55 million shortfall for the Tooele County School District. The district had set money aside to build two new schools, but now it only has enough money to build one.

Tooele School District

In late 2020, the Tooele County School District bonded $170 million for the construction of a high school in Tooele, a junior high south of Stansbury Park and an elementary school in Grantsville.  District Spokesperson Karen Crawford says the district was able to secure other funding to cover building the elementary school. So, the district thought there would be plenty left over to fund the other projects. 

Crews were scheduled to break ground on the new high school next month.

Crawford said, “The original price tag that we had anticipated was $100 million.”

However, the latest bid to construct that school came in at over $156 million. That would have left only $16 million for the junior high which would actually cost nearly $70 million to build.  When district officials issued the bond, they expected construction costs to rise, somewhat, just not this much.

A big jump in a short amount of time

“When it comes to construction costs, there is no way we could have anticipated it was going to jump that much in that short time,” Crawford said.

According to Crawford, the county is seeing rapid growth. And the district needs more schools to keep up with the rising number of students. Now, they have to find ways to trim their construction budget without decreasing the quality of the schools or their resources.

“Our contractor is looking at ways to review the bid to see if there are any cost savings that can be made on the high school,” she said. “These inflation costs are just impacting every aspect of the construction process. And we are working hard to find the best possible solutions for these unforeseen complications.”

The district has no plans, yet, to request another bond to raise funds.

Read more:

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

Education + Schools

alpine school district signage shown...

Logan Stefanich,

Amid ‘tension’ in Alpine School District, board votes to study potential district reconfiguration

Alpine School District's board of education has voted unanimously to begin a study into reconfiguring the biggest district in the Beehive State.

7 months ago

A student at Toeele Junior High School brought an unloaded firearm onto campus Thursday morning, ac...

Simone Seikaly

Student found with unloaded gun at Tooele Junior High

Tooele Police said a resource officer learned about the gun from an administrator, who heard from a teacher, who heard from a student.

7 months ago

Burned trees piled on the School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration land pictured...

Adam Small and Samantha Herrera

$300,000 cleanup getting property back to raising money for public schools

The School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration has to clear decades worth of bullets and rifle pellets from a former Boy Scouts camp.

7 months ago

A lawsuit filed against the Alpine School District, the district's board of education and Superinte...

Logan Stefanich

Parents file lawsuit against Alpine School District over potential closure of 5 elementary schools

The suit comes less than a month after the same group of parents threatened to bring legal action against the Alpine School district.

7 months ago

Fourth grade teacher Emily Weigel shows her students that it might be hard to fit under their desks...

Amanda Dickson

What teachers want during Teacher Appreciation week — R.E.S.P.E.C.T.

Teachers and parents alike work tirelessly to educate and raise kids. Here's what one organization says about appreciating your teachers during Teacher Appreciation Week.

7 months ago

climate change education...

Marjorie Cortez, Deseret News

State School Board restores climate change science standard by 1 vote

The majority of the Utah State Board of Education members ended up rejecting a recommendation that would remove climate change language from the state's science standards.

7 months ago

Sponsored Articles

close up of rose marvel saliva blooms in purple...

Shannon Cavalero

Drought Tolerant Perennials for Utah

The best drought tolerant plants for Utah can handle high elevations, alkaline soils, excessive exposure to wind, and use of secondary water.

Group of cheerful team members high fiving each other...

Visit Bear Lake

How To Plan a Business Retreat in Bear Lake This Spring

Are you wondering how to plan a business retreat this spring? Read our sample itinerary to plan a team getaway to Bear Lake.

Cheerful young woman writing an assignment while sitting at desk between two classmates during clas...

BYU EMBA at the Marriott School of Business

Hear it Firsthand: 6 Students Share Their Executive MBA Experience at BYU’s Marriott School of Business

The Executive MBA program at BYU offers great opportunities. Hear experiences straight from students enrolled in the program.

Skier being towed by a rider on a horse. Skijoring....

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking for a New Winter Activity? Try Skijoring in Bear Lake

Skijoring is when someone on skis is pulled by a horse, dog, animal, or motor vehicle. The driver leads the skiers through an obstacle course over jumps, hoops, and gates.

Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...

Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer.

Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy.

Spiking construction costs cause $55 million shortfall for Tooele County School District