Monday, July 7, 2008

Construction Delays

During my life I have witnessed three home construction projects – two on my parent’s house and one on my in-law’s house. All projects took far longer than they should have, even factoring in the “construction projects take a long time” factor.

I’m bringing this up now because my labs are currently being built and they, like the three other construction projects I have witnessed, are also taking an exorbitantly long time. (At least from my perspective.)

The initial meeting to design my labs happened the first week in April. Then drawings were made. It took almost one month to get the drawings finalized. Then the project went out to bid. That took three weeks. Note: we are now at the third week in May. Things stalled. The financing for the project had to get approval from the finance office (why was this not put in place while the project was going out to bid?). And that got held up because of the Memorial Day holiday and because the finance office wanted a lot of detail.

So, now it is the second week in June and construction has yet to begin. We have a meeting with the contractor to go over the plans. Um, how did he bid on the plans if he didn’t understand them? And I thought that was why he had three weeks in May – to fully understand the plans. But moving forward, now he has to order the paint, tiles, etc. and those parts won’t arrive until mid-July.

All of this put together means that construction on my lab can start in mid-July, and it slated to be done by mid/end of August (my labs aren’t that complex). Minor things, like patching the walls, have started, but it took 1 day. I talked with a couple other professors about this “timeline”, and they are impressed at how fast it is getting done. I know that labs at other schools have year time frames, not month time frames. But I really don’t see why that should necessarily make me happy. This isn’t complicated. It is 800sqft of lab space with minimal changes. No plumbing. No electrical. Just some cabinetry, flooring and paint. It is just really frustrating that something so simple is delaying my being able to start.

Though maybe part of my frustration is stemming from the fact that I already have three students, but I’ll talk more about that tomorrow.

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