Board scales back plans for new health sciences building

 

Board members approved revised design and budgetary plans for the news health sciences and human services building on at a special meeting Dec. 13.

After budgetary problems plagued the new health sciences building, administrators met with the construction manager and architect to review options would decrease the cost of the building.

“In November, we were informed that the bids for this project came in over budget substantially. At that time, the Board asked the administration to continue working with the architect and the construction manager to review options for the building. We agreed that this special meeting would be scheduled when the administration was ready to recommend specific changes and would include updated renderings,” said Board Chair Samuel Sanchez.

Suzanne Shipley, university president, opened the meeting thanking the board for meeting and assured the board this was the best possible solution.

“I just want to take a moment to thank the cabinet who has worked really hard on turning this around as rapidly as possible. We want to get a shovel in the ground now and we also want to react to your encouragement,” Shipley said.” We did everything we could to make this the best possible solution for all of us. This is a very important building for us.”

After a brief introduction, Kyle Owen presented the changes, showing Board members the updated renderings displaying the look of the exterior of the building.

The overall changes to the design of the building include:

  • Exterior insulation and finish system in places were tera cotta was originally planned to be placed
  • Changing an all glass entrance to a design that incorporated brick
  • Reducing the penthouse from around 1500 square feet to around 120 square feet
  • Removing the structural steel for the glass wall in the atrium
  • Reducing the size of the atrium from four floors down to three floors
  • Flattening the roofs on top of the stairwells
  • Replacing a glass elevator with a standard elevator

The overall budget of the building is $42 million with construction cost to be $33 million. The originally projected budget of the building was set to be $38 million; however, with construction workers being in high demand after the recent hurricanes in the southern region of Texas.

“Just to review some of the savings ideas that we came up with. Trimming this up has been a lot of effort over the last couple of months coming up with well over $3.6 million worth of changes. We have accepted the $3.6 million with these being the large ones,” said Owen.

Owen said replacing the tera cotta saved around $700,000. Changing the height of the atrium saved around $600,000. Decreasing the scope of the glass wall saved $400,000. Changing the stairwells to be covered in sheetrock saved around $300,000. Reducing the square footage of the penthouse saved another $300,000. Replacing the glass elevators saved around $200,000.

Once all the revisions were displayed and the new budget was projected, board members approved the new design changes and budget.

RELATED STORIES: 

New health sciences building prepares to break ground, May 4, 2017

Health sciences building cost raises concern, Nov. 10, 2017

Emergency Board Meeting Fall 2017

Emergency Board meeting was held to discuss alterations of the plans for the new Health Science because the cost was apparently $1 million to $2 million over budget. Photo by Rachel Johnson
Emergency Board meeting was held to discuss alterations of the plans for the new Health Science because the cost was apparently $1 million to $2 million over budget. Photo by Rachel Johnson
Emergency Board meeting was held to discuss alterations of the plans for the new Health Science because the cost was apparently $1 million to $2 million over budget. Photo by Rachel Johnson
Emergency Board meeting was held to discuss alterations of the plans for the new Health Science because the cost was apparently $1 million to $2 million over budget. Photo by Rachel Johnson
Kyle Owen, facilities services associate vice president, presents to the board with budget cuts to the original plans for the new Health Science Building, held in the Board Room in Hardin, Wed., Dec. 13, 2017. Photo by Rachel Johnson
Kyle Owen, facilities services associate vice president, presents to the board with budget cuts to the original plans for the new Health Science Building, held in the Board Room in Hardin, Wed., Dec. 13, 2017. Photo by Rachel Johnson
Kyle Owen, facilities services associate vice president, presents to the board with budget cuts to the original plans for the new Health Science Building, held in the Board Room in Hardin, Wed., Dec. 13, 2017. Photo by Rachel Johnson
Kyle Owen, facilities services associate vice president, presents to the board with budget cuts to the original plans for the new Health Science Building, held in the Board Room in Hardin, Wed., Dec. 13, 2017. Photo by Rachel Johnson
University President Suzanne Shipley explains to Shawn Hessing, board of regents member, the answer to his question of why they had to pay a fee for the architecture to make changes to blueprints for the Health Sciences building to stay in budget. Photo by Rachel Johnson
University President Suzanne Shipley explains to Shawn Hessing, board of regents member, the answer to his question of why they had to pay a fee for the architecture to make changes to blueprints for the Health Sciences building to stay in budget. Photo by Rachel Johnson
Shawn Hessing, board of regents member, brings up a concern he has of fees coming from the architecture having to redesign parts of the building to stay in budget during the emergency board meeting, Wed. Dec. 13, 2017. Photo by Rachel Johnson
Shawn Hessing, board of regents member, brings up a concern he has of fees coming from the architecture having to redesign parts of the building to stay in budget during the emergency board meeting, Wed. Dec. 13, 2017. Photo by Rachel Johnson
Shayla Owens, student regent, gives the student voice to the alterations and told University President Suzanne Shipley that she thought that the alterations wouldn't take away from waht the students would be expecting to see when the building is done, during the emergency board meeting, Wed. Dec. 13, 2017. Photo by Rachel Johnson
Shayla Owens, student regent, gives the student voice to the alterations and told University President Suzanne Shipley that she thought that the alterations wouldn't take away from waht the students would be expecting to see when the building is done, during the emergency board meeting, Wed. Dec. 13, 2017. Photo by Rachel Johnson

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