Cost per Square Foot of Construction for Institutional Buildings

by Dean Dalvit on April 14, 2010

This post will be of particular interest for the criminal mind, or at least anyone interested in buildings that deal with criminals… We have some data from RSMeans on the construction cost per square foot of Institutional Buildings. The three building types studied are Police Stations, Courthouses and Jails.

Police Station Construction Cost

We’ll start first with police stations since that’s usually where the action begins. While there is a considerable spread geographically – $307.56 in New York, the most expensive city to $176.83 in Winston-Salem, the least expensive. The median hovers around $230 per square foot.

Courthouse Construction Cost

Courthouses are somewhat less demanding as they typically consist of larger spaces, however, security measures are increasingly affecting the cost of construction for all of these types of institutions. The regional spread is still very much apparent, but the median cost per square foot comes down to under $210 per square foot.

Jail Construction Cost

Jails are the most expensive construction type for this group. At an average of $371.28 per square foot in New york at the high end, to $215.76 per square foot in Winston-Salem on the low end, the median average cost is around $280 per square foot. This is largely due to the increased structural requirements for these types of structures.

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