EXCLUSIVE: Construction on UH West Oahu stalls in wake of cost overruns

EXCLUSIVE: Construction on UH West Oahu stalls in wake of cost overruns

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -
It's supposed to be a centerpiece in the new University of Hawaii's West Oahu campus.

But work on the $6 million administration building stalled this past summer after the school ran out of money to pay for cost overruns. And work won't likely resume until next spring.

Since its opening in August, campus workers are crammed into rooms around campus due to delays in completing the new, two-story administration building.

"Apparently they didn't build it so now they're cramming everybody in that building over there," said UH West Oahu student Julian Torres.

"I think it feels a little tight because I heard there was supposed to be more classrooms over there."

And it's just not students complaining.

State Sen. Sam Slom is part of a committee investigating the schools missteps.

He was upset when we first reported that construction was more than $14 million over budget and that dozens of construction companies hadn't been paid in months.

"They overspent, the project is not yet completed and their vendors have not been paid and you still have a problem of accreditation hanging over them," Slom said.

"Some of us are concerned that something's not correct at my university."

A review of the building site shows construction workers had already cleared the land beneath the proposed 20,000-square foot complex and had installed costly waster and sewer and water lines when work came to a stop.

UH West Oahu officials say they would have gone ahead with construction had they received an $18 million loan from a mainland company on time.

They're also waiting for approval for the sale of a 39-acre parcel to the Catholic Church.

But proceeds from those deals aren't show up in the school's coffers until next year.