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When it comes to construction, the Great Recession has caused the bottom to fall out of the housing market.
This slowdown has caused surviving construction companies to clamor for work — and increased competitiveness for remaining projects.
As a result, the construction projects that have gone forward have actually benefitted from lower-than-normal prices.
The earth-moving project for the runway safe area at the Twin County Airport is a good example, as it came in at about half the initial engineer's estimate, or a little less than $700,000.
The Carroll County Public Schools hoped to take advantage of this silver lining of the economy's black cloud.
The idea followed the logic of undertaking a thoroughly modern high school while the possibility of a savings existed. But that outlook proved to be a little too sunny, after Carroll County officials found the cost would still have still gone too high.
Educators have since revised their expectations to seek financing for renovations for the existing high and intermediate schools.
An extra incentive comes from the fact that the Carroll schools may be able to get enough financing through Rural Development to cover the renovation program.
It was logical to explore the optimum construction program, but renovations will still get the job done.
This compromise involves updating and expanding existing spaces, lengthening their useful lives for the benefit of the students.
It also has the advantage of being much more affordable.