An examination of selected factors of public school construction in Indiana, 1966-1968

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Morrison, Richard William, 1937-
Nesper, Paul W.
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This study was to develop an instrument for the collection of data relative to construction of public school buildings for the state of Indiana. The number of totally new public schools for which construction contracts were let in Indiana between January 1, 1966 and December 31, 1968 was to be determined. A third purpose of the study was to identify selected predominate physical components used in the construction of school buildings included in the study. A final purpose was to determine the percentage range of expenditures for each of the selected contracts relative to the total cost of the individual facility, as well as the total cost of construction of school buildings included in the study.Procedures and MethodologyThe research design used in this study included the following procedures: (1) determining the totally new public school construction projects; (2) preparation and refinement of the data gathering instrument; (3) data gathering activities; and (4) treatment of data.Public school construction projects for totally new structures for which construction contracts were let in Indiana between January 1, 1966 and December 31, 1968 were included in the study. A printed questionnaire was mailed to school superintendents in which such a construction project was located. The population consisted of 113 facilities of which responses were received concerning 106 or 9308 per cent. A percentage range of selected contract costs was computed for each individual facility and a frequency tabulation was made on the most often used selected physical component.FindingsOf the 106 buildings included in the study 69 or 65,09 per cent were one story construction. Seventy-four or 69.81 per cent used a steel framing system, 100 or 94°33 per cent used brick exterior walls, 38 or 35,84 per cent used unit ventilators for heating and cooling, 67 or 63.2 per cent had cooling to some extent, 58 or 54.71 per cent used natural gas for heat energy, 65 or 61.32 per cent used carpeting on less than 50 per cent of the floor surface, and 52 or 49.05 per cent used non-load bearing walls as interior partitions. The predominate selected physical component was computed for classified buildings based on grades housed.The percentage range of the general contract cost ranged from a low of 40.92 per cent to a high of 70.97 per cent of the total cost of the individual facilities. The percentage range for the mechanical contract was from a low of 7.25 per cent to a high of 25.61 per cent of the total cost of the individual facility. The percentage range of the electrical contract was from 5.1 per cent to 20.69 per cent and the architect's commission percentage range was from 2.11 per cent to a high of 6.92 per cent of the total cost of the individual facility. Other cost findings were presented in the study.Conclusions1. The great range of construction costs indicates many school administrators lack time, training, and experience to serve effectively as coordinators for planning outstanding and economical school plants.2. A significant number of school facilities included in the study were designed in such a manner as to virtually eliminate flexibility.3. A significant number of elementary schools failed to incorporate environmental comfort features, such as carpeting and air conditioning.4. The fees for legal services rendered in connection with construction of school facilities varied greatly.5. The sale of general obligation bonds was an inadequate method of financing school construction in Indiana.6. If school districts are going to realize a reduction in the amount of the total obligation incurred in financing school construction costs the state of Indiana must provide additional funds for financing school construction.