Feb. 7, 2002
Vol. 21 No. 9

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    IRB construction contract to be rebid

    In an attempt to control costs and to ensure the highest quality building, the University has decided to discontinue pursuing its existing, fast-track, preconstruction contract for the Interdivisional Research Building and to open the process to new bidders.

    A Request for Proposal will be issued early in the summer after more detailed construction documents are completed.

    According to Meredith Mack, Associate Vice President for Facilities Services, the decision to discontinue the existing contract is the result of an inability to come to agreement on a guaranteed maximum price for the 427,000-square-foot building.

    “Our goal is to build and provide to our scientists one of the finest scientific facilities in the nation,” Mack said. “We also hoped to speed up the process by pursuing in parallel several processes that are normally done in sequence. But that also requires an early commitment by the University and the contractor to a guaranteed maximum price.

    “We are disappointed that returning to a more standard, sequential process will delay the opening of the building, perhaps by as much as seven months. But with more detailed plans in hand, the winning bidder will have less uncertainty and be able to provide us better assurances about final costs. And we will be able to manage this with greater confidence in the quality of the completed facility.”

    President Randel said of the decision, “The IRB is simply fundamental to much of the important scientific research our faculty will perform in the years ahead. This building must and will be built, but it must and will be built to the highest standards. This decision will help ensure that.”

    The IRB is the largest and by far the most expensive of the buildings being constructed as part of the Campus Master Plan. It also is the first building in the nation designed specifically to encourage interdisciplinary work in the biological and physical sciences.