Education Department officials quizzed on construction math by City Council
By Meredith Kolodner
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
City Council members grilled Education Department officials yesterday on why the agency's new building plan costs almost twice as much per seat as the previous one.
The city plans to spend $3.8 billion between 2010 and 2014 for about 44 new school buildings, adding 25,000 seats.
Its previous five-year plan, however, allocated about $4.7 billion for 63,000 new seats. That means the cost per seat jumped to $152,000 from about $74,600.
Education Department officials claimed that the jump was related to increased construction costs, a decrease in projected class sizes and an 8% to 10% rise in costs because of green building.
They did not address how the environmental changes would translate into long-term cost savings.
Education Committee Chairman Robert Jackson (D-Manhattan) suggested that the department review its construction bids, given the drastically changed economic climate and real estate market.