Wyo. may slow down school construction | SummitDaily.com

Wyo. may slow down school construction

CHEYENNE, Wyo. – Wyoming may need to slow the pace of its statewide school construction program because of increasing costs and a shortage of contractors, legislators said Friday.Members of the Joint Appropriations Committee said spreading school construction projects over eight years, rather than six, might allow the state to get lower bids for projects and ease pressure on the state’s General Fund.Earlier this school year, the Summit School District scaled back construction on the middle school after construction costs soared from the demand created by Hurricane Katrina.The Wyoming School Facilities Commission has asked the Legislature to approve a $60 million inflation protection fund to help cover the rising cost of school construction.The commission has approved $637 million in planned construction projects for the state’s 48 school districts. The commission has asked the Legislature to approve $221 million for the 2007-2008 budget cycle.James “Bubba” Shivler, commission director, said the commission could accept a lower appropriation in the budget session that starts next month if it’s given the flexibility to move money from stalled projects to those ready to go.

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