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LSU drops over-budget contractor of engineering hall

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BATON ROUGE - Renovations to one of the oldest buildings on LSU's campus could be pushed back longer than expected after the university recently dropped its current contractor.

The State Facility Planning and Control withdrew their contract with Skanska-Mapp Construction to build LSU's Patrick F. Taylor engineering building. The company was recently found to be $6 million over budget for only half of the work they were hired to complete.

"When that happens we have two choices," said Roger Husser, Director of Planning, Design, and Construction for LSU. "We can either reduce the program on what were going to build or we can try to obtain better pricing to try to ensure we're getting the most bang for out buck. We've chosen not to renew."

Stefani Maris is a biological engineering sophomore and likely won't get to study in the newly renovated building, which she spends lots of time in.

"We want to save as much money as possible, so I think it is a good idea if they're reevaluating their plan," said Maris.

The way state budget cuts are going for higher education, LSU officials said it's important they use as much of the building as possible for the renovations to help keep programs while also saving money.

"We think it's going to provide the most benefit for LSU but for the benefit of the donors that have contributed to money for this project," said Husser. "We starting a little late but it was intentional than having to cut program for the project."

Lemoine is now handling the construction, and Husser said the company will try to keep to the scheduled 2017 completion date. Work was supposed to begin in February, and Husser said further delays could push things back even more.



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