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What's Happening in Recreation, Sports & Fitness Facilities

When it comes to spending for new facilities, additions and renovations, colleges and universities topped the list, with an average amount of $8,568,000 planned for their construction—92.1 percent more than the across-the-board average of $4,461,000. (See Figure 20.) Respondents from schools and school districts also were planning to spend more than this average—with an average amount planned that is 62.4 percent than the across-the-board average.

Falling somewhere nearer the middle were YMCAs and parks and recreation respondents. On average, YMCA respondents were planning $4,051,000 for their construction, or 9.2 percent less than the average for all respondents. And, parks respondents were planning to spend $3,907,000 on average for construction, 12.4 percent less than the general average.

Respondents from camp facilities were planning to spend the least on their construction plans, with an average amount of $976,000 planned, 78.1 percent less than the general average.

Notably, the amount planned by all facility types is lower than the amount indicated in last year's survey. The average across all survey respondents, $4,461,000 is 7.7 percent lower than last year's average of $4,835,000. The only group of respondents this year who were planning to spend more than the comparable group last year were those from camps, who are planning 6.9 percent more than last year's average of $913,000. The largest drop in the average amount planned for construction was seen among YMCA respondents. The respondents in this category for 2010 are planning to spend $4,051,000, 22.7 percent less than last year's respondents, who indicated an average spending amount of $5,244,000 for construction plans.

According to the Associated General Contractors of America, materials costs for construction have been on the rise. However, as of yet, contractors are not passing these costs on. That means you can still get a pretty good bargain on construction. Figures released by the organization in early 2010 show that finished prices of nonresidential buildings dropped last year, though some construction materials prices have begun to increase.

"Contractors have not been able to pass on these cost increases, which is bad news for contractors but good news for anyone looking to building right away," said Ken Simonson, the association's chief economist. "Pressure is building on contractors to raise costs, however, so anyone waiting to build will pay more."

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