The expected opening date of Florida State University’s new student union has been delayed again, according to a presentation to the university’s Board of Trustees on Friday.
The estimated substantial completion date for the project is now May 16, 2022, said FSU Vice President for Finance and Administration Kyle Clark. The estimated completion date used to be in March 2022, according to FSU’s 2020/2021 Major Construction Project Status Report.
The total cost of the project has now exceeded $142 million, more than $20 million over its original budget.
Before construction began in 2018, the 286,00-square-feet building was scheduled to be fully open by fall 2020, according to the Tallahassee Democrat. However, delays shortly after demolition and the COVID-19 pandemic extended the construction timeline by almost two years.
The university is offering the project’s construction company, Ajax Building Corporation, more money to meet this new deadline, Clark said. The university is offering the company $1.75 million if construction meets the May deadline and progresses quickly enough for the university to partially open the building by April 29th, in time for graduation weekend.
If the company fails to complete the project by May 16, the university will fine the company $1,000 for every day it is delayed in liquidated damages.
Peter Collins, chair of the Board of Trustees and real estate investor, said during the meeting that it is typical for projects this large to go over budget. He added that the project would not have been as delayed except for difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Do whatever you got to do, but let’s get this done,” he said.