Cost Estimate

The calculated cost estimate for this 17,100 square feet concept design, with its largest configuration achieving a maximum of ~400 seats for concert hall or musical production, is $6,500,000 without escalation, equating to a cost per square foot of $380.

The preliminary estimated cost with escalation due to elapsed time between estimation and construction start is $8,000,000.

Construction estimates developed by Scully Architects/Nextstage Design were achieved by three methodologies: rule of thumb; comparison to similar projects; and a detailed, bottom-up development of a project budget. All three methods yielded similar estimates, giving high confidence that the estimations are on target.


The construction of the arts center will be privately funded. A capital campaign is planned to begin in 2019 to raise funds through philanthropy and foundation grants.

Once the facility is constructed, operating costs will be the responsibility of the Contoocook Valley School District, SAU 1, primarily: electric, heating and cooling; general liability insurance (similar to what the District carries for any of its facilities and activities); and custodial staffing requirements for general cleaning and maintenance.

Impact to the ConVal District Annual Operating Budget

Maintenance will add approximately $ 125,000.00 to the annual district budget.

The $125,000 annual impact is extrapolated from annual costs reported by The Kingswood Arts Center at Kingswood Regional High school in Wolfeboro, NH. Kingswood is a much larger center with 850 seats.  Its reported costs include HVAC, utilities, and miscellaneous operating costs, including maintenance and custodial personnel.

Impact on District Tax Payers

The annual impact of operating costs will amount to approximately $1.00 per month tax for each $200,000 of property value, per homeowner, across the school district.  This information is based on a calculation provided by SAU administration, based on the comparable costs for the Kingswood Arts Center.

Thornton Wilder - Center for the Arts