Library Project a Case of Delays

Peter Nelson

Renovations to Case Library resumed this week after a two-month hiatus prompted by renegotiations with the project’s contractors.

According to Vice President for Administration Mark Spiro, the University received an estimate in mid-July of the cost of the final phase of construction. He described this estimate as “substantially higher than previous estimates and Colgate’s budget.”

A projected 10 to 20 percent increase in the cost of construction materials in the wake of Hurricane Katrina further has exacerbated Colgate’s budget constraints. These financial concerns have prompted a shutdown of the construction site, while Colgate administrators have worked with the project’s contractors, U.W. Marx Company and Gilbane Building Company, to settle on a new contract.

“Over the last two months we worked to redesign some of the civil and structural components of the building so that we could afford the project,” Spiro said.

The anticipated completion date for the project is December 2006, four months later than the August 2006 date that was projected in a Colgate press release. Still that timeline, however, is not definite

“Any number of factors could affect the December date,” Spiro said.

According to University Librarian Joanne Schneider, the renovation project will resume on Monday, September 26.

In the meantime, contractors are working with Colgate’s Building & Grounds (B&G) to prepare the facility for the next phase of construction.

Earlier this week, crews began working on a walkway across from the building, and the demolition contractor opened its offices and positioned a 100-yard dumpster for debris associated with the project.

Schneider said that the superintendent in charge of the demolition operation was working with B&G staff to “review safety procedures, de-energize the building’s systems and provide for temporary water and power.”

The construction delay means that the temporary “[email protected]” provisional library is likely to be a fixture on campus through the fall 2006 semester, along with the LASR book delivery system whose delays have been a hindrance to some students.

When completed, Case will boast an additional 51,000 square feet, as well as new areas for information technology and multimedia resources.

A bridge to the upper campus will make the facility more accessible and a caf?e on the new fifth floor will offer a study space for students.