Back in November, Lazy Lightning covered the $90,000 treehouse cabin plan which County Commissioners turned down as too expensive. They sent the County staff members back to the drawing board to come up with cabins which were more reasonably priced and the public recently got a look at those new plans which were eventually approved.
These new cabins will be so much more appropriately priced at $56,000 but will feature a simplistic, box-style design, and will be built by high school students at DCTC before being moved to the site by home movers. While certainly less money than $90,000, the cost of many homes in Dakota County, are $56,000 cabins built by high schoolers really an acceptable expenditure in 2013?
From the article:
“I like the idea of having this education for students in the county,” said Board Chair Nancy Schouweiler. “Right there you have some potential [cabin] users.”
The 327-square-foot cabins will be insulated for four-season use but will not look like the traditional Minnesota woods getaway cabins. Designed by HGA Architects of Minneapolis, these cabins look like a plain rectangular box.
Commissioner Kathleen Gaylord questioned the plain design, comparing it to a “small garage or trailer.” She wondered if it could have a more interesting roof line or exterior finish. Gerlach said he likes the traditional look of the camper cabins in state parks.
But HGA architect Steven Dwyer defended the simple design, saying the cabins will not look like they were built by Huck Finn. The plain exterior will blend in with the trees, he said. But inside, a front window — a wall of glass — will make the cabins unique, Dwyer said.
While cabins may be something that will bring in visitors to the park and should be a part of the planning, some may continue to question spending just over a half a million dollars on nine cabins built by high-schoolers. For a county which continually prides itself in its low tax rate and smart spending, it’s fairly clear some of their choices still need work.
What do you think about this idea? Do you think the $90,000 cabins being reduced to $56,000 by utilizing high-schoolers to build them makes the plan any better or do you think it just makes it worse? Do you think that by utilizing the high-schoolers the staff didn’t have to do as much work to get what they wanted instead of going back to the drawing board to really come up with a viable solution to the problem? With many lakeshore cabins (including land) going for $100,000 in Minnesota, are you still surprised at the high cost? Whatever you have to say about this one go ahead and comment on as I’d love to hear your thoughts.