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Central Library Budget Update / Class B Cost Estimate

September 2022

SPL communicates cost updates at the end of each design milestone when we have updated drawings and the corresponding updated cost information is available. Working within our budget is a priority for the library. From the outset of this project, SPL has applied rigorous cost control measures to provide the highest level of cost certainty. To this end, we have engaged two independent cost consultants. At the end of each design phase, both cost consultants receive the architectural drawings and provide cost estimates based on those drawings. If at any point the estimate exceeds the identified budget, both cost consultants will initiate a value engineering process to recommend cost savings options for consideration by SPL and the Prime Design Consultants to align the design with the construction budget.

The following summarizes our cost estimate process to date:

  1. Class D estimate at the end of Concept Design (complete),
  2. Class C estimate at the end of Schematic Design (complete),
  3. Class B estimate at the end of Design Development (complete),
  4. Updated Class B estimate at 50% complete Construction Documents, and
  5. Class A estimate at 90% complete Construction Documents.

The original budget included an escalation (inflation) allowance of $3 million. With the current market conditions, our projected construction costs have increased. However, we have thus far been able to absorb the increases within our existing budget through reallocating cost savings we realized in other areas of the budget and through the value engineering process. The Class B estimate has been completed and at this time the library project budget remains at $134 million. There are two cost estimates remaining before the construction contract is tendered in 2023.

The site preparation is currently underway. We remain on track to open the new library in 2026.

SPL’s project has been compared to other municipal facility projects in the media. However, Saskatoon’s new central library project is overseen by SPL’s Board of Trustees, not the city, and we cannot speculate on the cost control measures applied to other projects.