TSU construction requires additional funding

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Willem van der Pol, interim associate VP for Facilities Management, gives the board a breakdown of the TSU expansion cost increase.  (Yunuen Bonaparte / Daily Titan)
Willem van der Pol, interim associate VP for Facilities Management, gives the board a breakdown of the TSU expansion cost increase.
(Yunuen Bonaparte / Daily Titan)

The Student Center Governing Board’s Wednesday meeting dealt with an unexpected $330,000 cost increase for the Titan Student Union due to seismic code issues, forcing the campus to look to the CSU Chancellor’s office for funds.

Parties involved in the development of the $20 million expansion discovered in late September that the TSU’s structural design was assigned the wrong seismic code, said Dave Edwards, Ed.D., executive director of Associated Students, Inc. (ASI).

The coding requirements were open to the interpretation of contractors bidding on the TSU’s development.

“There were different people who were supposed to be looking at it, whether they were on campus, in ASI or at the Board of Trustees level,” said Michael Badal, ASI president.

“No one really caught that it had changed until we had already started the project and the designs were already done,”
Badal said.

The updated seismic code has resulted in additional costs for the project.

“We’re building a safer, better building as a result of this decision, so that’s the upside of all of this, that the whole facility will be safer and better,” said Willem van der Pol, interim associate vice president for Facilities Management, at the meeting.

“The downside is that there’s just not quite enough money in the budget and in the contingency to pay for it all,” he said.

The expansion project was originally funded by student body and Titan Student Centers fees, the Daily Titan reported
in September.

The resulting cost is currently estimated at about $30,000 for the architect’s redesign and about $300,000 for additional steel and concrete, Edwards said. The additional costs were not unusual for a construction project, he said.

The estimates are subject to change, pending a negotiation with the Chancellor’s Office, architects, contractors and the campus, said Kristyn Grime, Student Center Governing Board chair.

“We’re kind of just asking (the Chancellor’s Office) to see if there’s any way they could help us with the additional cost for the extra construction we’re going to have to do,” Badal said of a letter being drafted to the Chancellor.

While the structural integrity of the expansion will be increased, the aesthetic design will stay the same, Badal said. Construction will also continue as scheduled because the construction company changed its timeline to focus on areas that did not require redesigning.

The project’s completion deadline is still set for spring 2017.

“What we ultimately want is to have this building for the students, of course, and we want it to be at the lowest possible cost,” Badal said.

The letter to the Chancellor’s Office is expected to be sent by next week, before winter break, van der Pol said. He expects to receive a response by mid-January.

Kaleb Stewart contributed to this report.

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