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School costs depend on -- where, when, what for, location, and more. But a few ideas are in order:

1. Generally a Monolithic Dome School will cost less than a conventional school. It will cost a lot less than a conventional school if the conventional school is constructed to meet the Type II or Type II FR designation (Fire safe code designations). It may cost anywhere form the low $70's to the upper $80's per square foot 

2. The lifetime of the Monolithic School is measured in centuries. Remodeling may be needed from time to time to meet changing conditions over decades of use, but new structures will not be needed.

3. The dramatic difference in energy needs between the Monolithic Schools and conventional is where the big savings are. Less equipment is needed for heating and cooling. Less electrical is needed for the less HVAC equipment. Less equipment needs less maintenance and less replacement when it wears out. If the savings were accumulated in a bond account --- it would be reasonable to have the accumulated saving equal the total cost of the facility in less than 20 years. (The superintendent of Pattonsburg School -- Gene Walker said 11 years for their new school).

4. Inflation of construction (see graph Winter 2000 Roundup, page 46) will distort any numbers given here --- So will other factors such as: It is more costly in the Northeast and California, prevailing wage states, and experience of builders and designers. In general the schools have been finishing in the upper $70's and low $80's per square foot. The most Monolithic Dome schools are located in Arizona. There conventional schools priced out about 18% more in initial cost and obviously they did not have the energy savings of the Monolithic Dome Schools

Noble, on the other hand, gave us an energy cost comparison between Emmett High School and Sweet/Montour Elementary, another school facility in their district. He said that during the 1995/96 school year, Sweet/Montour spent $9,000 on energy while Emmett spent $10,100. But the elementary school encompassed only 27,000 square feet and 62 students while Emmett High had 110,000 square feet and 900 students! That meant that energy consumption at the much smaller Sweet/Montour cost 33.3 cents per square foot and only 9.2 cents at the much larger Emmett High.

Information Supplied By Monolitic Dome Institue