PORTLAND, Ore — A new audit of Portland Public Schools 2017 bond measure cost estimates is out, and it’s critical of decision making by district officials.
KGW reported last August that actual costs to do all the work promised with the $790 million bond could hit $1 billion. Back then the district told us it was mostly due to construction costs skyrocketing unexpectedly.
But according to our news partners at the Oregonian, the new independent audit shows district officials used very conservative numbers to predict future construction costs, against the recommendations of staff.
And officials also underestimated "soft costs" for things like inspections, permits and legal fees.
The audit from a California consulting firm says PPS did all this, “without a documented methodology, rationale or explanation."
It adds up to a nearly $200 million problem, for a bond designed to rebuild or modernize several schools in the district.
The audit recommended two paths forward: cut back on construction or ask voters for more money.
The PPS board discussed the audit at its last meeting.