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High Bids Delay CSUN Science Building

September 27, 1987|PAMELA MORELAND | Times Staff Writer

Higher bids than expected for construction of an $11.1-million, three-story science building on the campus of California State University, Northridge will delay the project's ground breaking by several months, university officials say.

CSUN administrators said work on the science building, originally scheduled to begin in last month, probably will not start until January.

Science Building Delayed

Because the lowest bid was $2 million over the university's budget for the project, "We will be late on the science building," said Charles Manley, CSUN facilities planning director.

The center will be built just north of the campus' existing science building and will offer improved laboratories for research.

"The new science building would give a more modern facility, with safer labs and with more space so we could expand some specialized programs such as biochemistry and environmental chemistry," said Paul Klinedinst, chairman of the university's chemistry department.

The $11.1 million budgeted for the science building was approved in 1986 by the state Legislature. Because legislators are unlikely to approve more money for the project, CSUN must revise its architectural plans so costs will be reduced, said Sheila Chaffin, the CSU system's coordinator of capital projects.

Among the cosmetic changes planned to lower costs of the building is the elimination of a concrete overhang protecting an elevated walkway, Chaffin said.

Could Start by January

Once the plans are scaled back, the bidding process will begin again, probably late next month, officials said. If a construction bid comes within budget, a contract could be awarded in December, and work could start as early as January, Manley said.

Besides the science center, construction is expected to begin in December on the proposed $2.1-million Jeanne Chisholm Hall for Deafness, an 18,000-square-foot building that will house programs for the deaf. The hall is to be built south of the campus' Student Health Center.

Chisholm Hall "will allow us more growth in the future, give us more of an identity and increase our accessibility to the deaf community," said Steven Ray, assistant director of CSUN's National Center on Deafness. The center operates a nationally recognized collegiate program that has graduated more deaf students than any other major university in the nation.

The two CSUN buildings supplement the school's $150-million North Campus expansion, an ambitious plan that calls for the construction of dormitories, educational and commercial facilities.

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