The Andover High School Building Committee is delaying the long-awaited release of preliminary cost estimates for a new school by one week.
In an email to members Tuesday afternoon, Chair Mark Johnson canceled Thursday’s meeting, where the committee was scheduled to receive and discuss the initial estimates of a plan to renovate the existing school and a plan to replace it with a new school.
“We are not prepared to present a complete cost estimate for the various options along with a tax impact analysis,” Chair Mark Johnson said in an email to the other committee members. “We hope to be able to present both seven days later at the already scheduled meeting on March 30th.”
The committee will meet briefly Monday to discuss warrant articles asking town meeting to approve money to design whichever plan the town chooses, as well as get an update on the impact the town’s debt limit will have on the project. That potential glitch to keeping the project moving forward on schedule was disclosed last week.
Last week, Johnson stressed the preliminary numbers were just a starting point for a town-wide discussion informing the building’s final design. “Everyone says the number on the 23rd is going to be the final number, but it’s not the final number,” Johnson said. “It’s just one step in the overall process. It will be good to have a number, and then we’re going to have to make some tough decisions.”
Select board candidate Kevin Coffey has said replacing AHS will be the most expensive capital project Andover has undertaken, and local government activist Mike Myers spent three months working up a cost analysis that put the bill at $430 million, based on West Elementary School construction costs.