New UH rec center ten months behind schedule

New UH rec center ten months behind schedule
Published: Jul. 16, 2013 at 9:40 PM HST|Updated: Jul. 17, 2013 at 12:43 PM HST
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Lauren Tabagan
Lauren Tabagan
Rachel Domingo
Rachel Domingo

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The new recreation center being built at the University of Hawaii's Campus Center on its flagship Manoa campus is about ten months behind schedule. Instead of opening last December during the school year, it is not projected to open until October.

It's the first major addition to the Campus Center since the building was built in 1973.  The $33 million project is being paid partly by student fees.

Students, faculty and staff have endured the sounds of construction and detours for more than two and a half years.

"It's kind of crazy trying to get from class to class, 'cause you have to take detours and stuff to get everywhere," said Lauren Tabagan, a UH sophomore who's a political science major.

The new recreation facility will include a multi-purpose gymnasium, locker rooms and showers, an indoor jogging track, fitness center and fitness studios for classes. It's all part of an effort to focus on intramural and recreational sports.

"It's been a long process, and I think when it finally opens, it will be worth the wait and students will use it and have a lot of fun in it.  We're just really excited for it to open," said Rachel Domingo, a UH education graduate student.

UH construction officials said the project is about ten months behind schedule because of difficulty locating underground utilities and extra excavation needed to reach "suitable rock" to support the foundation.

Other delays were caused by changes UH made to the project and relocation of a water meter because of Board of Water Supply requirements, according to UH's Office of Capital Improvements.

UH officials also blame the delays on "contractor performance issues."  The window subcontractor went bankrupt, for instance, and had to be replaced, UH said.

The project began in December 2010 and was originally projected to be completed two years later in December 2012.  But now it's going to take nearly three years to complete, with an October 2013 completion estimate.

Some parts of the project finished this spring, such as a new Starbucks Coffee outlet with a new seating area outside.

The iconic monkeypod tree remains in the quad outside campus center that's been the place of countless performances, debates, protests and speeches over the past four decades.

But the rest of the courtyard is still dug up as construction crews work to finish the project sometime this October, ten months late.

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