GROSSE POINTE WOODS — A health clinic at Grosse Pointe North High School that administrators originally said would cost $700,000 is now up to more than $915,700.
Documents from the Grosse Pointe Public School System’s Facilities Committee meeting Monday, Dec. 5, show the new cost will be $663,418 for construction and $252,343 for management and contingencies.
Discussion at the regular board meetings in November focused on the cost of $700,000. That figure also is used in two places on an FAQ about the project the district posted on its website.
“I was stunned to hear the cost is already $215,000 higher,” said Trustee Lisa Papas, who also serves on the Facilities Committee. “One of the biggest problems since this whole thing started is that we did not use our standard practices and procedures that we’ve used on other projects.”
Papas and Trustee Ahmed Ismail were the only board members to vote against the clinic at the meeting Nov. 28. Members Joe Herd, Colleen Worden, Chris Lee, Margaret Weertz and David Brumbaugh voted in favor.
“I think that should invalidate the vote,” Papas said of the new cost details.
Superintendent Jon Dean said the difference between the costs is the difference between an estimate and hard bids.
“Turner Construction gave us what’s called a design and development estimate in August and said it would cost around $700,000,” he said. “When they took a look at all of the hard costs and received their bids (from subcontractors), it came in more than the estimate.”
Dean said bids were sought by the district starting Nov. 1, which was before the project was approved, and Turner received its bids Nov. 11 from subcontractors. The district received Turner’s information Dec. 5.
The board voted to approve an interagency agreement Nov. 28 with Corewell Health, formerly Beaumont Health, to build the clinic using sinking fund money. Plans call for it to be located in an unused science lab. The money will be spent on sanitary sewer upgrades, five new sinks, two new bathrooms and a self-contained HVAC system, all of which are required by state law for a clinic to be located in a school building.
Corewell Health will operate the clinic through a grant from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. It currently operates 16 similar clinics in other districts.
The clinic, which is open to not just students but adults as well, from the Pointes and Harper Woods, will include a security system that requires people to be buzzed in from outside the building, and a vestibule that requires North students to be buzzed into the clinic from the school and back into the school.
“We’ve been told we have $8 million in parking lot repairs that need to be done and North is the worst,” Papas added. “And the roof leaks at North. I guess if that leads to mold, students can always go down to the clinic and get an asthma inhaler.”
Several concerns were raised at the last board meeting, with members of the public urging the board to examine the issue more closely, noting the Nov. 14 board meeting was the first full presentation of the idea.
Will Broman, who ran for school board last month, in an open letter to the district noted several inconsistencies in Corewell’s application to the state, including enrollment numbers that don’t match district numbers and that the application did not cite all of the other clinic and doctor availability to the Pointes.