Home>Feature>City of Reno Cites ‘Unprecedented’ Rising Costs For $70 Million PSC Budget

Artist's renderings of the Public Safety Building in Reno. (Photo: City of Reno)

City of Reno Cites ‘Unprecedented’ Rising Costs For $70 Million PSC Budget

The budget for the Public Safety Center has doubled to $70 million

By Megan Barth, January 3, 2023 2:56 pm

The Globe broke the story back in mid October, from information received from a whistleblower, that the Public Safety Center (PSC) was $14 million over budget in Phase One. The PSC, located at 911 Kuenzli Dr, was the former headquarters for the Reno Gazette Journal (RGJ). The Council approved and paid $7 million to the RGJ for the dilapidated, 40-year old building.

Financing for Public Safety Center (Photo: City of Reno).

The initial renovation estimate of the building was $35 million and included three to four phases of construction. Days after our exclusive story broke, the city council, led by Mayor Schieve, doubled the budget to a little over $70 million for Phases One and Two and agreed that Phase Two would be the final phase of construction.

Estimated budget doubles for the PSC. (Photo: City of Reno)

Following our story, an open records request was filed on October 30. The city twice delayed their response and sent an incomplete response on December 29th. (See below).

Within the documents, the City of Reno, details the “unprecedented” rising costs:

Over a year has passed since the approval of PSC Phase 1 construction contract with Plenium Builders. Since the estimate for PSC Phase 2, the construction industry has been buffeted by unprecedented increases in materials costs, supply-chain bottlenecks, and the cost of labor in a tight labor market. Figure 1, pictured below from American General Contractors Association (AGC), shows the magnitude of the increases for seven widely used categories of construction inputs. From April 2020 to June 2022, the Producer Price.

Index (PPI) for steel mill products more than doubled (up 124% in 26 months). There were increases of more than 60% in the indexes for copper and brass mill shapes (up 68%) and lumber and plywood (up 61%). PPIs rose by more than half for plastic construction products (up 55%) and aluminum mill shapes (up 53%). The index for gypsum products increased 44% and the PPI for truck transportation climbed 40%. Numerous other indexes rose by more than the 23% increase in the “bid price” index

Unprecedented rising costs doubles PSB budget. (Photo: City of Reno)

The PSC will house the Reno Police Department Headquarters and department, evidence storage, facilities to serve victims and the public, and workspaces for critical social service agencies.

The Globe will file another open records request, continue to monitor the progress of the building and the council meetings related to the budget and renovation.This is a developing story.

PSC Phase 2 Staff Report
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