Today’s SJ-R article about whether the government will give Memorial Medical Center permission to spend its own money to expand the hospital cited an interesting statistic. Although government staff recommended allowing MMC to spend its own money, it did caution that some of the construction would cost $429 per square foot, which “ ‘appears high’ when compared with the board’s current standard of $400 per square foot.” That’s 7.25% over their standard.
Contrast this concern over organizations spending their own money with last week’s story, where the government spent other people’s money. Grab your calculator if you’d like to follow along.
Various and sundry state and local agencies and other interested parties proudly announced the opening of the Hope Springs Apartments for the benefit of people dealing with mental illness. There are 23 one-bedroom apartments at 550 square feet each; 13 efficiency apartments with 330 square feet; and a 2,275 square-foot “resource center.” If your calculator is working, you should come up with a total of 19,215 square feet.
A bit of time spent researching on the interweb finds per square foot estimates for apartment construction ranging from $100 to about $135 per square foot in this area.
How did our public servants do with our money? They spent $5.4 million dollars — or $281 per square foot. Well over twice a high estimate, for the purpose of providing what they term, without any apparent sense of irony, “affordable housing.” To which one can only ask – for whom??