Work has started on the $55 million renovation and expansion of East Carolina University’s (ECU) Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium in Greenville, but it will take twice as long as originally anticipated.
The ECU Educational Foundation (Pirate Club) executive committee unanimously approved the project time extension after construction estimates received by university officials in late November were significantly higher than anticipated and initially forecast.
The increasing demand for projects in North Carolina, along with added contractor premiums to complete the work within a nine-month window, were cited as primary reasons for the surge in prices, WITN-TV has reported.
“A few months ago we learned through our Construction Managers at Risk (CMR) that costs of materials and labor were escalating dramatically as market demands tighten throughout our state,” the broadcaster had quoted ECU athletics director Jeff Compher as saying on in early December. “Therefore, we prepared to seek additional funding authority to cover the anticipated increases with the goal of completing the project on time. However, last week we learned that costs had exceeded their projections and we asked the CMR to determine solutions and options for us to consider.”
“After several days of meetings and discussions we came to the conclusion that our best option was to extend the original construction timeline of 9-11 months to a new timeline of 16-18 months. This new option will allow us to stay within the revenue model we developed to finance the project in its entirety.”
Members of ECU’s construction committee collectively agreed the extension served in the best interest of the project’s comprehensive success.
“Given the restraints on the bid, including double-shifts to meet deadlines and the safety liabilities involved, it was a very unattractive one to contractors,” committee member and
E.R. Lewis Construction Companypresident Harvey Lewis said. “People have to make concessions at times and I applaud the university’s decision to avoid demanding shift work and keep safety on the forefront. Our mindset should be one to ‘do what you can do instead of what you’re hoping to do.'”