By JEROD CLAPP
NEW ALBANY —
Long waits for required approvals and higher-than-anticipated bids have kept IU Southeast from completing its sixth residence hall.
The dorms, originally slated for completion in June of 2013, are now likely ready for students to move in around July 2014.
Dana Wavle, vice chancellor for administrative affairs, said though verbal approvals have been given by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, the final confirmations aren’t expected for about another week. He said the holidays also added to the delays, but construction has resumed this week.
But he also said over the summer, the bids they received came in with bigger price tags than they expected. When the bids came back in June, the lowest came in at $5.6 million. Excluding professional and internal fees, the university projected a cost of about $4.3 million.
He said they were able to bring the cost of the bids down in the second round by about $500,000, with the remainder of the costs footed by auxiliary bonds and other funds.
Wavle said adjusting specifications in the building project helped save some money.
“Specifically, the original bidding documents solicited bids from general contractors who would sub out the various trades,” Wavle said in an email. “We revised the bidding documents to allow the University to solicit bids directly from the various trades. This changed the project from one contract to multiple contracts.”
Since the residence halls were introduced in 2008, they’ve filled to capacity until last year. Wavle said this year, they’re still exceeding 90 percent occupancy and don’t anticipate any problems filling the new building.
Amanda Stonecipher, director of residence life, said new students are already applying for rooms.
“We currently do not have a waiting list and have few open beds for the spring semester,” Stonecipher said. “We have already received several applications from new, incoming students for the 2013-2014 academic year.”