It's actually pretty apalling when you see how calm they are about this extra 50 million dollars, when they nickel and dime us to death on treatment dollars. I can only imagine how many lives could actually be saved and how much safer the community would actually be if that money would have been funneled into lives instead of into bricks and mortar.
The cost to build Denver’s new jail and courthouse has been a big secret at City Hall for months.
The price tag has increased by $51.6 million because of the rising cost of construction materials.
The projected cost of the two buildings is now $265.5 million, a 24 percent increase over the original budget of $214 million.
When RTD announced last month that FasTracks was nearly $1.5 billion over budget and Mayor John Hickenlooper said the city was "in the same position" with the justice center, imaginations ran wild.
But James Mejia, justice center policy manager, said today the city should be able to cover the increase through premiums from the sale of general obligation bonds, interest earnings and project contingencies.
"We’re not having to go back to ask for more money," he said.
"We’re reallocating from elsewhere in the budget to stay within our overall budget," he added.
Hickenlooper called it a "remarkable achievement" that the project is within budget "despite the incredible rise in basic commodities, like steel and concrete, which have (increased) between 60 (percent) and 150 percent since the project started."
"It really reflects on a great team," the mayor said.
Mejia will ask a City Council committee on Wednesday to endorse a $265.6 million contract with Hensel Phelps Construction Co. to build the jail and courthouse as part of the nearly $400 million Denver Justice Center project, which also includes improvements to Smith Road and a new post office on West 14th Avenue.
If it gets committee approval, the contract would go before the full council for first reading July 9.
Under the current schedule, the jail would be finished in December 2009 and the courthouse would be completed in May 2010.
The original construction budget was $115 million for the jail and $99.1 million for the courthouse.
Rocky Mountain News