Clemson Board Approves Construction Contracts


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CLEMSON -- Clemson University's Board of Trustees approved
two athletics facilities contracts and gave the university permission to negotiate a lease with the S.C. Research Authority (SCRA) for two new facilities to be built at the Clemson Research Park.


Among the approvals was a change order to an existing
contract that will allow the university to replace the roof
of Littlejohn Coliseum, a project that could add as much as
$8 million to the cost of renovating the 36-year-old
facility.


Already under way is a $23 million Coliseum renovation
project to add an annex, improve sight lines, and enhance concessions, restrooms and other facilities. But recent inspections of steel girders in the roof indicated that flaws first detected and corrected in 1988 have reoccurred, leading university officials to recommend replacing the roof.


"After reviewing several options, we recommend a design that retains the existing look of Littlejohn, is cost effective and can be installed more quickly than some of the other design options," said Scott Ludlow, chief business officer. "One benefit of the roof replacement is that it will make Littlejohn more versatile for events such as major concerts, because we will be able to hang equipment from the ceiling."


Trustees agreed to a financial plan in which the university will issue $8 million in institutional bonds, which are repaid through student fees. The university budget will absorb the first $4 million of the roof costs, while the athletic department will cover remaining costs up to an additional $4 million. The funding plan does not require a fee increase.


Because the roof replacement is considered an emergency, Clemson will adjust its current construction contract rather than seek bids. However, the university will hire an independent cost estimator to ensure it receives competitive pricing. The contract also will include incentives to hold down costs and liquidated damages if the project is not finished on schedule. University officials said contractors indicate the project will be completed by January of 2003.


Trustees also approved a proposal to negotiate a lease with SCRA to provide space for ongoing research in advanced materials. The proposal calls for SCRA to build a 57,000-square-foot research facility and a 25,000-square-foot office and electronic microscope facility at the Clemson Research Park, located off Highway 187 in Pendleton. Pending final state approval, the facilities could be completed as early as June 2003.


SCRA will lease the facilities to Clemson for an annual
payment not to exceed $1.83 million, to be funded from
existing university resources and external research grants.
The research facility will house research in photonics and nanomaterials that is expected to generate $10 million in external funding next year.


In other action, trustees awarded a $3.56 million
construction contract for an indoor track facility to
Melloul Blamey Construction, Ltd., of Greenville. The
facility will include an enclosed 200-meter track, field
event areas, training facilities and amenities for
spectators.

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