The Miller-Driscoll Building Committee approved final payment for 10 construction contracts at its meeting on Nov. 9. The total came to $8,662,713, an increase of 12.9% over the original contracted amount of $7,562,384. A few questions arose regarding the increase in payments. Several individual contracts came in far above the original price but those were due to changes made, project manager Mike Douyard of Turner Construction said. The largest, percentage wise, was the cost of ceramic tile, up 189.5% from $43,155 to $81,792. This was a result, Douyard said, of a committee decision to upgrade some bathrooms, as well as clean and restore floors. The cost for hazmat demolition and abatement rose 24.5% from $1.9 million to $2.4 million after the committee voted to extend the areas to be abated. Cleaning services rose 140.9% from $74,100 to $178,470 due to accelerated work over the summer of 2016. Masonry costs rose 14.4% from $937,000 to $1.07 million due to extensive brick repointing. In addition, Douyard said, when windows were installed in some of the \u201csunken\u201d classrooms the walls were found to be unstable and had to be rebricked. Fire protection costs rose 20.1% from $519,534 to $624,082 after the committee approved up to $160,000 for a pump to augment the sprinkler system. These 10 contracts represent 46% of the contracts for the project, Douyard said. He expected to have final numbers for 13 more contracts in time for the committee\u2019s next meeting on Dec. 14. At present, these amount to $26,389,219, 5.5% above original contracts, but he said there may be some downward movement by the time the committee meets again. A certificate of occupancy is expected by Dec. 1, with a few items needed to be completed including landscaping, shades for exterior lights that would force light downward, and engineering review. The project is expected for completion by Dec. 31.