Why does it cost so much to build in Greenwich?

FI-Letter-to-the-EditorTo the Editor

We have built or are building the police headquarters, the new firehouse, the temporary firehouse, and the renovation of Nathaniel Witherell.

We are also in the process of “planning” MISA, a new GEMS facility, yet another firehouse on King Street (we do have a lot of fires in that area), and a new swimming pool that, if in Byram as planned, might be underwater in the next storm.

Anywhere but Greenwich, these would be pretty modest endeavors for a temporary firehouse, two new firehouses and a GEMS facility. What are, or should, firehouses be, but glorified garages, with facilities? OK, throw in a day room like our troops who are getting killed and maimed overseas have. Check the precinct houses and firehouses in Manhattan. Pretty spartan at best.

Normally these facilities are utilitarian, but this is Greenwich and public servant people are prone to becoming demoralized if they have to work in the “modest conditions” we middle class citizens/taxpayers are used to and live in. We don’t have the “special amenities” that we are asked to supply for our “public servants” out of our “modest” incomes.

I think we are talking about $400 million for these projects, actual cost, not “estimates.” “We” are not very good at estimating.

Stamford has been working on the excavation for a new hospital. It will be 11 stories, enclose 640,000 square feet, have underground connecting tunnels and a 33,000-square-foot utilities room. The cost, with demolition and parking, is $450 million, seemingly a bargain compared to our projects. Consider the complexity of building a hospital with that of building our firehouses, police station, GEMS etc. Think it’s even close? Shame on our “officials” or maybe, more appropriately, taxpayers.

If we change our zip code to 06902 (Stamford’s zip), logic would suggest that our building costs would plummet. Somehow I don’t think that will happen, but maybe we could get the Stamford Hospital contractors to bid our next, scaled down, work?

P.S.:  Don’t pay any attention to the above, it was just the rants of a lunatic with time on his hands … or is it?

John Kriskey

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