June 5, 2018

From: Anne Mucci <amucci@mlschools.org>
Subject: ML School District Construction Update

Dear Parents,

We regretfully announce that our school construction project will not commence this summer as was initially anticipated. The bids which we received from the construction companies were approximately 30% over our anticipated budget. As a result, at last night's meeting, the Board voted to reject the bids and re-assess the situation to determine how to proceed. A summary which has been prepared by the chair of the Finance Committee follows:

Referendum Update: Wildwood and Briarcliff Phase 1 Bids Rejected

On May 8, we received bids for Wildwood and Briarcliff Phase 1. The lowest responsible bid for the combined projects, including the Wildwood restrooms, came in at $5,339,000, which was 32% or $1,295,000 over budget, net of a $150,000 allowance. The primary reasons cited by our architects for the bids coming in above budget were: rising material costs and speculation about substantially higher future material costs due to U.S. imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum imports; higher transportation costs due to rising fuel prices resulting from the US's withdrawal from the Iranian nuclear accord; and some modifications to the design specs requested by building stakeholders before final plans were submitted to the state in March 2018. At the time, these modifications were believed to be within the cost contingencies built into the budget.

On June 4, the Board voted to reject the current bids for Wildwood and Briarcliff phase one and therefore, construction will not begin this summer.

Currently, we are working with FKA to determine if there are measures we can take to reduce costs without changing the scope of the projects in each building. This includes the high school, which has yet to go out for bid. FKA will be attending our next Board meeting on 6/26, at which time the Board will discuss courses of action including the cost reduction measures.

The Board encourages you to attend the 6/26 meeting to hear our discussion with the architects as to our potential options going forward.

Sincerely,

The Mountain Lakes Board of Education