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PSU exploring options after sub-contractor misses deadline - KOAM TV 7

PSU exploring options after sub-contractor misses deadline

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Pittsburg, KS - Pittsburg State is exploring alternative laboratory options for its chemistry and biology students following an unexpected construction delay. Contractors have been working to replace the HVAC and exhaust systems in the Heckert-Wells facility since late spring. The original deadline for the $4.3 million project was August 29, but an external sub-contractor was unable to meet the deadline.

“Corvus walked off the site on that Friday and never returned,” said Paul Stewart, director of facilities planning. “It's the first time in my nine years on this campus that something like this has happened. It's forced us to push the date back to the end of September.”

Upon learning of Corvus' actions, university officials immediately reached out to the project's general contractor Barsto Construction of North Kansas City, Mo.

“Barsto was very responsive and immediately began switching their crews around to help us regain some of the lost time,” said Stewart. “This is one of the most complex systems we have on campus and we want to be certain it's done right. The unfortunate result is a four-week delay.”

The delay is causing headaches for faculty and students who rely upon the laboratory facilities to complete their necessary coursework.

“Our faculty planned their coursework for the semester around the original date so to have it change is extremely frustrating,” said Karl Kunkel, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.“ Our primary concern now is that our chemistry and biology students have adequate facilities and time to complete their lab work.”

University officials are exploring several options including the use of dry labs and computer-based exercises.

“Our faculty aren't letting this delay discourage them from giving our students a great academic experience,” said Kunkel. “They're doing whatever they can to reorganize coursework until we can get back into the building and use laboratories that have the proper exhaust fume hoods.”

In the meantime, work at Heckert-Wells has resumed and officials expect students and faculty to be able to return to their building the week of Sept. 29.

“I can't say enough about the cooperation and coordination of our faculty throughout this entire process,” said Stewart. “We spent more than a year planning this project due to the complexity of the HVAC and exhaust system and the impact we knew the project would have on our students and faculty. It's frustrating to miss our deadline. “

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