A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that one of the junior highs in the area had pie in the sky expectations regarding their upcoming science area remodel. A sum like $455K sounds like a lot, no doubt, but it really isn't when you have to create five classrooms (including infrastructure needs). The science group did end up lowering their expectations a bit (no ice-maker), but the total was still around $1 million.
Further discussions were had about reusing more of the HVAC and electrical systems, along with some other possible cuts. Even so, we've only gotten the price tag down to $700K. You should have seen the forlorn looks on the faces of the teachers when it was explained that for their $455K, they could gain one more classroom and deal with a few issues in the remaining four. It's almost not worth it in such a case, but something really does have to be done.
We told them not to lose hope. Their building has $610K set aside for various projects over the summer, and it may be that all of that gets budgeted for science. It is still not enough, but the facilities' manager is going to see what he can do. Schools and money always seem to be at odds.
At least the teachers are being a bit more down to earth about the renovations. It was a hard fall from them, and they looked a little bruised. It's not easy when someone bursts the bubble you're riding with a sharp dose of reality.