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Budget & Schedule Update / Class A Cost Estimate

June 2023

Saskatoon Public Library (SPL) completed the final cost estimate for the new central library at 90% completion of the construction documents. We are pleased to report that the project remains on budget.

The construction budget is $79.4 million. SPL received two independent Class A cost estimates, which came in at $79.7 million and $81.1 million. The higher of the two estimates is within 2% of our construction budget, which puts SPL in a favourable position going into the construction tender. Neither of these cost estimates requires an increase to the $134 million project budget.

Due to changing market conditions and inflation, our projected construction costs increased from $73.3 million. However, we absorbed these cost increases within our existing budget by reallocating cost savings realized in other budget areas and through the value engineering process during the design process. The rise in cost has not impacted the available construction contingency.

From the outset of this project, SPL applied rigorous cost-control measures to provide the highest cost certainty. To this end, we engaged two independent cost consultants. At the end of each design phase, both cost consultants received the architectural drawings and provided cost estimates based on those drawings. If an estimate exceeded the budget, both cost consultants initiated a value engineering process. This process recommended 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:

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


SPL issued a request for qualifications for a general contractor in April 2023. Three firms have been invited to bid on constructing the new central library. The tender closes in July 2023. The general contractor’s scope of work includes both site remediation and construction.


As of June 2023, the new central library remains on schedule to open in 2026. Once the construction tender is awarded, a detailed schedule will be developed and released.