A look into costs associated with CISD board’s sudden vote to move agricultural facility

Construction materials sit at the original location for CISD's new agricultural facility, Garcia Elementary.

We are learning more about the cost of moving a million-dollar agriculture facility set for construction at one location, to another. On Monday night, CBS4 broke the story about Canutillo ISD board members suddenly switching the location.

After construction was already approved to start at Garcia Elementary School, a contract was signed and building materials were already delivered on site.

But Monday night, three board members defied the pleas from students and voted to move the agricultural facility to Canutillo Middle School.

Canutillo ISD said no money is wasted on the former agricultural facility site, Garcia Elementary, and that any work board members claim was completed at Garcia to prepare for construction was actually done years ago.

"No work related to the construction of the barn had been done,” said Canutillo ISD Executive Director of Facilities Bruno Vasquez. "My department hasn't spent any money on any actual improvements of the land."

There are building materials already sitting at Garcia waiting for construction.

"There's going to be some cost to ship them over 3 miles down the road,” Vasquez said.

The contract approved by the school board says Garcia is the building site. The district has a meeting this Friday to see whether a new contract will have to be written.

"If anything, it will probably be an administrative directive issued to the contractor just to clarify the location,” Vasquez explained.

The district might have to pay the contractor for the extra work.

"There may be some additional design fees associated with this change,” Vasquez said.

The plot at Garcia is 25 acres. The plot at CMS is only 4 acres, but the facility's design might not have to change.

"The footprint of the building can fit,” Vasquez said.

Vasquez said there's a chance the new location's design could be more expensive, but it could also end up being cheaper.

"One of the major costs in construction is the running of utilities. So because of the location at CMS, we may have utilities that are close by,” he said.

Vasquez said one cost the Garcia location didn't have that will now have to be done at CMS is knocking down asbestos-filled buildings.

"We can't just go knock them out. So we'll have to hire an extra contractor,” Vasquez said.

There's no estimate right now on how much it will cost to knock down the buildings at CMS. On Wednesday, the district is meeting with a consultant to take samples to see how much work is needed.

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