The price tag for Palo Alto High School's new athletic facility -- for which groundbreaking is slated this fall -- will be between $36.1 and $40.4 million, according to newly released estimates from the school district.
"The original (athletic center) design was a lot simpler than what it is now," said Jason Peery, who is representing his family's foundation on the project. "So we're both chipping in more than we originally thought because we really want to create a first-class facility that kids are going to love for generations.
Peery said there was "always an expectation that a contribution from the district would be a condition of the deal."
The price disclosure, contained in materials to be discussed by the Board of Education Tuesday, June 17, is the first public estimate of the total cost since the athletic center project was publicly proposed early last year after the then-anonymous donor approached the school district.
It comes from preliminary estimates by contractor Vance Brown Builders, Inc. based on current plans by architect Jeremiah Tolbert, Skelly said.
The district's share initially was estimated at $5.47 million, the amount it already had allocated for improvements to build a weight and fitness center. Paly's Facilities Site Committee has reallocated an additional $4.25 million to the gym project by de-funding remaining projects at the school except for the library renovation and the science addition. Funding for a new performing arts center already has been approved.
An additional $2.85 million will come from unspent funds originally intended for furniture, fixtures and equipment at Paly, Skelly said.
If more school district funds are needed, the Board of Education would have to approve reallocating them from other sources within the bond construction program.
Skelly said the proposed athletic center -- essentially two gyms built around the existing pool and connected by a loggia -- will more than double the square footage for indoor athletics.
"All the new facilities will be state of the art," he said. "The support facilities for the aquatic center will be greatly enhanced. When this project is completed, Paly will have some of the finest indoor physical education and athletic facilities in the state, and these facilities will be worthy of the talents and promise of our students."
The Peery family, Skelly said, "has been tremendous. I'm consistently impressed with the integrity they have, the excitement they have about the whole project, just the warm hearts they have about this whole project."
Architectural plans for the athletic center are currently up for approval by the Division of the State Architect, which must sign off on all public school building projects in California. If approval comes over the summer, the Board of Education in September will be asked to approve contracts with the donor and Vance Brown for a construction start date of Oct. 1.
Under that timeline, the new athletic center would be ready for occupancy by spring of 2016.
During construction, physical education classes will operate out of portable buildings. Staff members are piecing together alternate locations, including Stanford, for team practices and games that require facilities.
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