It has been more than a year since the ceremonial groundbreaking for Union’s library project.
However, students walk to class past an empty spot and many are beginning to wonder what is happening with the construction project.
President David Dockery shared why construction has not begun.
As questions arose, Dockery explained that the design of the dome and the structure of the building turned out to be a greater challenge than initially expected.
“Once the detailed architectural work had been completed and the bids had taken place, the projected price came in about 20 percent higher than expected,” Dockery said.
With the price for the planned building exceeding the budget goal, the project had to go back to the planning stages.
“We asked the contractors and the architects to try to redesign the project in line with the initially approved price range of $18 to $20 million,” Dockery said.
“The architects and contractors have done so.”
Now, the planning process is nearly complete.
Dockery said an architect is working on the drawings for the new design of the building.
Once the drawings are complete, the next step will be to re-bid and re-price the building.
The original plan for the design of the exterior of the building has not changed.
The dome, large glass entrances and brick structure will remain the same as in the original designs.
However, the interior structure is being redesigned to bring the cost down to the $18 to $20 million range.
More than $17 million has been given or pledged by donors for the building project so far, and more money is still being raised.
“We are still holding out hope that there is some way that we can begin the dirt work and initial aspects of construction this fall,” Dockery said.
“We hope to be able to move forward soon on the re-bidding and re-pricing aspects of the building. We have a fantastic relationship with both the contractors and the architects, who worked together on both White Hall and Providence Hall prior to this effort.”
The new library will be situated between Jennings Hall and the Carl Grant Events Center.
A ceremonial groundbreaking event was held in April 2012 with the hope that the project would begin construction in the fall of that year.
“At this point, I cannot promise a start date on the building,” Dockery said. “We are trusting the Lord for his help, guidance and wisdom.”