When workers constructing a new $51 million Deltona Middle School (next door to the existing Deltona Middle) began installing structural pilings to support the three-story classroom building this summer, they quickly ran into a problem: the depths to reach bedrock ranged from 90 feet to 325 feet into the ground.

The bedrock depth had been calculated at approximately 130 feet for bidding purposes.

Each additional linear foot of depth costs between $40 and $50 — and the total overrun turned out to be 9,223 feet, adding $584,000 to the cost of the steel pilings.

“The nature of the site was very unpredictable, despite the fact that we did a significant number of borings out there — subsurface conditions, you can move 10 feet from one to the other side together, it's very irregular down here,” Director of Planning & Business Service Steven Grube told the School Board Oct. 13.

“Did anyone stop and say maybe we shouldn’t build on this property?” Board Member Jamie Haynes asked.

Grube and Construction Project Manager David Laver replied that the previous director of planning, Saralee Morrissey, who left the district earlier this year to take another job, had considered a host of different options before concluding that the property next to the existing school was the best option.

“Now that we are in the nitty gritty — so that we don’t have half-a-million-dollar surprises — preferably Superintendent Balbogin, maybe down the way send us regular updates,” Board Member Ruben Colón said. 

The officials still plan to stay within the $51 million budget — the cost will be reconciled through direct purchasing of some products, which will reduce tax fees, and other cost-saving measures, Grube said.

The official update on the structural pilings at the new Deltona Middle School is found by clicking here