The unfinished fieldhouse at Coginchaug High School's athletic complex could cost taxpayers at least a quarter million dollars, according to a Fieldhouse Committee formed to oversee the project.
The amount would cover the cost of a bare-bones bathroom facility, one of three options that the committee is currently reviewing as it attempts to meet by Durham's Planning and Zoning Commission to complete the project.
Jeremy Renninghoff, the committee's chairman and a member of the Region 13 Board of Education, said the district's least expensive option would be to simply build a roughly 1,100 square foot men's and women's bathroom facility with a small area for janitorial space.
The facility, which would be built on an already existing slab paid for as part of a $4.99 million bond approved by voters in 2008, would cost approximately $256,000, according to estimates by the committee.
The committee, Renninghoff said, was leaning towards a second option, which would be to build the shell of the entire facility — roughly 5,000 square feet — but only complete the bathroom facilities while leaving the remaining space as "cold storage."
That option would cost approximately $537,000, he said.
"We feel that is the best option because we would put the roof on the entire structure and it would be done," said Renninghoff. "In the future, if the money became available either through private donations or public funds to finish the rest the building, than it can be done without having to remove the roof."
The third option — a completed facility — would include bathroom facilities as well as home and away locker rooms, office space for coaches and storage areas for equipment and would cost just under $800,000, according to Renninghoff.
The estimates do not take into account prevailing wage laws, which he said could increase the final costs another 20 percent. Board members however were unclear as to whether prevailing wage laws would be required on the project.
Initially, the fieldhouse project was to be completed with "in-kind" donations but when donations never materialized from the PZC to complete the project.
Although he said the board is compelled to have the project built by 2014, Renninghoff told his fellow board members that he is cautious about asking taxpayers to pay for the facility.
"I think a lot of this is going to come down to what kind of money is available and what the public is willing to go for," he said.