SCARBOROUGH — Eight Corners School’s new 34-space parking lot, complete with space for a modular building, has exceeded budget, according to Scarborough School Board’s Finance Committee.

The Town Council’s Finance Committee held a joint workshop with the school board on Oct. 30 to discuss the 2021 fiscal year as well as project updates.

The new parking lot and plot for a modular building at Eight Corners School was budgeted at $260,000, said Finance Committee Chair Sarah Leighton, but the project is now expected to cost about $320,000.

While the new modular at Eight Corners School is expected to be open and ready in two weeks, Kate Bolton, director of business and finance at Scarborough Schools, said that there were unexpected costs to the project.

“The short version of the story is when we asked for $260,000 we didn’t know what we didn’t know and one of the biggest drivers in pushing us over budget has been the fact that the fire marshal’s office told us we needed to put in a full new sprinkler system,” said Bolton, “and that meant we had to put in a drop ceiling and a couple of things we didn’t expect in this modular building. We thought we could just connect it to the main building.”

Bolton said that the school board is expecting the majority of the bills to come in shortly.

“We’re significantly over on the modular’s amount,” she said. “We really didn’t do a very good job of guessing what this would cost. The big problem is just in that modular block. There was a lot more to it than what was expected.”

“There’s no action required at this point, but we just wanted to give you a heads up,” Leighton told the town council.

Bolton said that the economy and construction costs are part of the reason why the budget has increased.

“The good news that if they do have to add two more classrooms, we have the infrastructure built,” said Bolton. “The connection has been made between the sewer system. All of that connection is there so it’s a little bit more of a plug and play.”

Town Councilor Peter Hayes said that there may need to be more conservative estimates in the future.

“If you look at the turf field, which was budgeted at $1 million and came back at $1.6 million — I think the learning is as we look at these and put numbers forward, we’re probably better off being conservative at the ask,” he said. “These are two pretty significant overruns.”

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