$1,995,000 will not cover bids

By Holly Schubert

The $1,995,000 budgeted by the Board of Regents for the Holmes Student Center Tower renovation is not enough to cover bids submitted by contractors July 7.

The Northern Star has learned that bids for the project came in at more than $3 million, $1 million more than the money earmarked for the project.

The Board of Regents Facility Committee will meet in Springfield today at 2 p.m. and will discuss the situation regarding excessive bids. The committee then will present their recommendation to the Regents at a meeting Thursday. The Regents must approve a bid before construction can begin.

Conrad Miller, Administrative and Support Services manager, said representatives from NIU and the architectural firm of Ware and Associates are in Springfield today to make suggestions for possible courses of action.

“We have concerns about this project. We want to do the right thing,” Miller said. “We still need to repair or rebuild the tower on a permanant basis. We can’t leave the building in the condition it is now.”

Miller said there is still a possibility that work could begin on the rehabilitation in August. If the project has to be re-bid, construction could be delayed until spring due to weather conditions.

“If we choose to re-bid and wait until spring, we want to make sure that the temporary repairs that have previously been made will survive the winter,” Miller said. So far, there has been no reports of additional brick falling off the tower. However, Miller said that this is the calmer part of the year with regards to weather, and that DeKalb has not experienced enough wind or rain to create a problem.

Regardless of what happens at today’s meeting, some repairs will have to be made, and a section of the sidewalk and street on Carroll Avenue will continue to be blocked off from pedestrian and vehicle traffic.