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Making the grade: Why school construction costs are climbing and projects are stalling

February 14, 2020

When California-based C.W. Driver Cos. began work on the new 94,000-square-foot K-8 ​Cadence Park School campus in Irvine in 2016, the overall construction costs came in at $475 per square foot.

But in 2019, as the firm started mapping out the construction of Heritage Fields School No. 3, another K-8 campus for the Irvine Unified School District, costs had surged to $598 a square foot.

That’s a jump of 26% in just three years, and it echoes a trend experienced around the country.

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