The renovation estimate was produced late last year by New York-based Stuart-Lynn Co. The firm’s projects have included the Whitney Museum of American Art and the the Morgan Library and Museum in New York City; the Johnson Museum of Art expansion at Cornell University; the Miami Art Museum; and the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Mass.
The Corcoran is “a lovely, beautiful building from which [museum managers] could derive a spectacular institution, with time, and the proper capital,” said Breck Perkins, technical partner at Stuart-Lynn. “Their maintenance staff has done yeoman’s work in trying to keep this building together.”
The repairs included in the estimate largely came from a to-do list provided by the Corcoran’s facilities staff, Perkins said.
The construction costs alone total $102,178,268.
In addition, “soft costs” — such as architectural design and engineering — are calculated at about 30 percent of construction. The total project cost is $130 million.
Perkins said the 30 percent figure for soft costs is an industry rule of thumb.
At the Smithsonian, project planners estimate soft costs at 20 to 30 percent, depending on the project, said Walt Ennaco, director of planning and project management.
The $130 million total would cover 129,010 square feet of usable space, or $1,008 per square foot.
The Smithsonian spent $85 million from 2006 to 2008 to renovate the core of the National Museum of American History, built in 1964. That project covered about 120,000 usable square feet, for a cost of $708 per square foot, not adjusted for inflation.
The four-year Corcoran project would be divided into three phases. The first would include such items as upgrading heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC). HVAC is critical to a museum. Relative humidity must be kept at about 50 percent and temperature at about 70 degrees.
The second phase would include complying with public accessibility rules under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The Corcoran, like many historic buildings, has a waiver to operate with limited accessibility. Renovation cancels the waiver.
The third phase would include demolishing and rebuilding the college space in the basement.
The $130 million total is significantly higher than a 2005 estimate of $35 million to $40 million to repair the building. Former board chairman John “Til” Hazel gave that estimate to The Post at the time. Bollerer, who came to the Corcoran in 2009, and Hopper, who joined the board in 2005, say that they don’t know what the earlier estimate was based on.