South San Francisco Civic Centre project budget climbs with increasing construction costs

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south san fran civic center rendering
Rendering of the South San Francisco Civic Center project

Rising construction costs are raising concerns in South San Francisco as it plans a new Civic Center Campus.

Coun. Mark Addiego said the most recent project budget estimation reached $210 million, an increase the roughly $150 million expected last year, the San Mateo Daily Journal reports.

“It’s frightening what is happening in the construction industry as we try to put together architectural and construction drawings and go into the marketplace for a contractor, because things are moving so rapidly,” Addiego is quoted as saying.

The skyrocketing costs are associated with labor and material shortages caused by the state and region’s building boom. Addiego also indicated that the financial woes could worsen due to trade tariffs imposed by the White House.

“This is not the best time to try to be going into the marketplace and trying to spend $210 million,” Addiego said. He is a member of the subcommittee planning the centre.

The rising costs have forced design revisions of the campus intended to host a new library, parks and recreation department as well as police and fire stations proposed on city property near El Camino Real and Antoinette Lane.

As an example, officials are examining building surface parking rather than a underground lot, as recent projections show every 10 subterranean spaces cost about $1 million, said Addiego.

Despite the parking changes, the city decided to add an additional 5,000 square feet to the library, at a cost of about $5 million.

Addiego said the additional space is needed to accommodate projected population growth, with an expectation that a library the same size as one built decades ago will likely be inadequate over the coming years.

He described the project’s trade offs as officials try to manage competing priorities.

“It’s like when you are building a house and your kid wants a pool and your wife wants a top-of-the-line kitchen and grandma wants her own suite with a private bathroom,” he said. “There are not enough dollars, so someone will be disappointed.”

To address these differences of opinion on priorities under the budget restrictions, Addiego said officials will soon host a study session allowing community members to learn more about the project, the newspaper reported him as saying. “We have to reacquaint the public,” he said.

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