Posted on 14 February 2019 by LeslieM

RE: Center for Active Aging

Dear Editor,

I usually do not like to tout credentials but after listening to the Commission Meeting [on Feb. 5] about the Center for Active Aging, I have to speak up. I am in total agreement with the contractor that spoke up about the estimated $500 per sq. ft. to construct this building — it’s outrageous! Prior to moving to Florida, I worked for large architectural firms in two other states and I was on the team performing programming for large scale construction projects, both in government and the private sector. Two such projects that I will name were the 1) NORAD Space Command Headquarters and 2) the headquarters for Peabody Coal in Henderson, KY.

I can assure you that, if this city spends $500 per square foot, then somebody is making out like a bandit — unless this Center for Active Aging is the equivalent of a five star hotel! I am also very concerned about the programming parameters, because its present use is very low. In the meeting, the city admitted that the number of Pre-K kids using this facility is 17-19 children and that this number has never increased over the years. It was also stated that, at the most, on a Friday, it was attended by 15 senior citizens. That’s a total of 34 persons! And we are building a $12,000,000 facility for 34 people? That equates to $352,941 per person. This is absurd. I have never been involved in a project where there is a “if we build it, they will come” philosophy. This is not being prudent with our tax dollars.

But back to the costs per square foot issue … Please look over the national averages of construction costs for hotels and office buildings (see link at www.fixr.com/costs/build-hotel) and tell me straight up that YOU, the citizens of Deerfield Beach, can justify spending $500 per square foot on this Center. [It says the national average for hotel construction is $325 to $450 for square foot].

Sarah Moran
Deerfield Beach

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