Reinisch, Ashley (2011-12). Cost Comparison of Public Elementary School Construction Costs Based on Project Delivery System in the State of Texas. Master's Thesis.
If a correlation exists between cost and project delivery system then this is crucial knowledge for any group organizing a new construction project. It has been observed anecdotally that the construction cost per student of public elementary schools has been observed to continue to increase in the state of Texas, even with the recent downturn in the economy.
The recent economic depression in the USA has seen construction material costs stagnate and construction costs dropping. This is a direct result of the competitive nature of a market that has a lack of business. The issue of a rising cost at the time of a falling market is of more than a passing research interest to school superintendents and the people of Texas.
This study investigated the relationship between cost and project delivery systems. A survey was sent to all school superintendents in Texas requesting recent data on elementary school enrollment, project delivery type and construction costs. One hundred and thirty six responses were received from one thousand and seventy six Texas school districts. A comparative means test was used to determine if a relationship exists between construction cost per student and project delivery system for public elementary schools in Texas. The research shows that Texas school districts are primarily using two types of project delivery systems for their new school construction, Construction Management at Risk and Competitive Sealed Proposals. After comparing the average construction cost per student for these two project delivery systems, the statistical analysis showed that Competitive Sealed Proposals cost approximately four thousand dollar less per student than Construction Management at Risk. The clear question is then as to why are districts using Construction Management at Risk when the comparative benefits of the contract type are not worth this amount of money per student.