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Construction for PDSI Slightly Delayed, Over Cost

By Marie Y. Thibault

Construction for the PDSI project in and around the Building 6 courtyard is slightly behind schedule and has increased slightly in cost, said William J. Anderson, Jr., chief facilities officer. The delays are unlikely to impact completion of the project, he said.

The PDSI (Physics, Department of Material Sciences and Engineering, Spectroscopy, Infrastructure) project, slated for completion at the end of 2006, includes demolition of Building 6A, construction of a new building, 6C, and renovation and infrastructure upgrades in surrounding buildings.

Demolition of Building 6A was scheduled to be complete by now; at present, it is only 80 percent complete, Anderson said.

The authorized original cost of the PDSI project was estimated at $48.8 million. Replacing the 90-year-old windows in Buildings 2, 4, 6, and 8 will likely add $3 to $4 million to this figure, though costs are under negotiation, Anderson said.

As negotiations continue, critical construction, such as the demolition, is still taking place. Once demolition is complete, foundation work will begin in the underground facilities, he said.

Parts of Eastman Court outside Building 6 have been paved over to distribute the load of the cranes needed for the project. The pavement also prevents the courtyard from becoming muddy and dusty, a major concern because Building 18, which houses the Chemistry Department, is directly across from the renovation site. Dust could contaminate the labs and research within the building, Anderson said. Paved sections will be reseeded with grass when construction is complete.

The Building 6 first floor corridor, now closed, will remain blocked for the duration of the project, Anderson said.

A town hall meeting about the project will be held in 26-100 on Oct. 14 from 9 to 10 a.m.