Randy Yohe Published

State School Construction Funding Increased To Compensate For Inflation

Construction workers are seen replacing red roof tiles.Nati Harnik/AP

West Virginia’s School Building Authority (SBA) allocates school building projects by the square foot. SBA Executive Director Andy Neptune said they found the average of $307 per square foot cost allowance, operative since 2019, did not cover the post-pandemic inflation cost increases.

“Counties were wanting to come back to us for supplemental funding to get their projects completed,” Neptune said. “Something had to be done.”   

At its Monday meeting, the SBA increased the square footage cost allowance by 46 percent to more than $430 per square foot. Neptune said school districts need to plan construction budgets with the increase – and districts that have already passed bonds need to resubmit.  

“Let’s look at that number to see how we need to be working with this,” he said. “Because ultimately we want to get this balance down and not deal with any more deficit numbers.”

Neptune said the SBA has removed its supplemental funding policy and county school systems will be responsible for cost overruns. He said 28 counties will present construction plans on Nov. 13 and 14.

The SBA will vote on those plans on Dec. 11.