Miami PAC Cost Skyrockets

Officials with the Miami Performing Arts Center in Florida are still working to keep the facility’s October 2006 opening on track while looking for ways to finance escalating construction costs, now estimated at a whopping $446.3 million.

Venue officials asked the Miami-Dade County Commission for an additional $34.4 million for construction cost overruns September 14th. The request is on top of the $67.7 million the county already pitched in last year. The project is nearly two years behind schedule, according to The Miami Herald.

County Manager George Burgess said in a memo that two big reasons for the skyrocketing cost are a shortage of experienced construction workers due to competing projects in the area and the unusual number of hurricanes and rainy days.

“I don’t think this is an issue of miscalculation, at all,” Burgess was quoted as saying. “This is probably one of the most complex construction jobs in the country today.”

Burgess and staff proposed getting the extra cash by borrowing from the county and then repaying the loan from extra property tax revenue plus a private fund-raising drive by the Performing Arts Center Foundation.

City officials are expected to support the plan, the Herald said.

The project cost, originally estimated at $265 million, has escalated over time because of design changes, material shortages and flawed work.

When finished, the pricey PAC will house a 2,200-seat symphony hall, a 2,480-seat ballet and opera house, and a 200-seat studio theatre.