Brian Ragan, Director of Facilities and Construction presented to the Hernando County School Board on February 9, 2021, a proposal to install Permanent Concretables to solve imminent and future capacity problems in Hernando County schools.
Permanent Concretables, commonly called “prefab” or “pre-cast” are concrete structures manufactured in a plant, and shipped to the school campus. These can be assembled on a traditional foundation and classified as Permanent capacity per state School Concurrency regulations. These one or two-story buildings can be finished to match other campus buildings. Rated for 220 MPH winds, the structures have bullet-resistant concrete walls and roofs.
Maintaining School Concurrency is a legal obligation of the district. This is a system of land use regulations designed to meet the demands placed upon public school capacity by new residential development. Before approving proposed residential development, local governments and school boards must jointly determine whether adequate school capacity will be available to accommodate the development. Local governments must deny applications for new residential development if adequate permanent capacity will not be available or under construction within three years of approving the application.
The concretables are expected to solve the problem with permanent capacity. Ragan reports that Hernando county schools currently have multiple concretables on 4-5 campuses, however, the structures do not meet the standard set forth by the State Requirements for Educational Facilities (SREF) to qualify as permanent capacity. The estimated life expectancy on the current concretables is roughly 10 more years.
New concretables have a life expectancy of approximately 30 years, where portables have an expected life of 10 years. Conventional buildings are rated for about 50 years.
Ragan stated that the school district’s budget has been reduced since impact fees were reduced below what was available 10-15 years ago. Ragan reports $7 million available to construct concretables right now. According to Ragan, construction of a concretable can begin in summer and be completed by fall.
A new school with capacity for 1600 students would cost the district $44 million. One addition to an existing school to add permanent capacity for 350 students (16 classrooms) would cost an estimated $6.5 million.
The basic unit cost for the structure of the permanent concretable is $88,888 for a single story and $180,483 for a two-story building. The estimated cost for site prep, foundation, roofing, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing, would be another estimated $120,000 per classroom plus infrastructure. The total estimated cost is $250,000 – Single story. A two-story concretable may be slightly more due to elevator requirements.