WILMINGTON — Renovations and an expansion to Kettering Science Hall totaling $13 million have been delayed from their hoped-for fall opening date.
The expansion to Wilmington College’s Kettering Science Hall will open in January of 2016, and the renovated Kettering Hall in fall of 2016, accord to Wilmington College President Jim Reynolds.
“While Wilmington College initially hoped to move into the Center for the Sciences and Agriculture for the fall 2015 semester, completion of the facility has been delayed,” said Reynolds in a written statement. “Ideally, the 15,000 square-foot addition will open this January with the start of the spring 2016 semester, and the renovated former Kettering Hall will be completed next summer in time for the fall 2016 semester.”
The cause of the delay was the termination of the former general contractor, Tri-Con Inc., and the hiring of a new one. Randy Sarvis, Wilmington College’s director of public relations, did not know who the new contractor was.
“The general contractor’s work was not up to the standards that were specified in the original construction agreement,” Reynolds wrote. “Because of these concerns, WC made the decision to terminate the original contractor and has hired a different general contractor that we believe will complete the project to our expectations.”
When the Wilmington News Journal first reported on the dismissal of Tri-Con, Reynolds wouldn’t specify what was unsatisfactory about the work, citing possible litigation. He did say some of the work done will likely need remediation.
“This delay is disappointing because we wanted to move in this summer and showcase a completed CSA to prospective students and their families, as well as our current students, faculty/staff, alumni, friends and others in the community,” Reynolds wrote. “But, in the long run, having a top quality facility within the next 12 months is in the best interest of all.”
Kettering Hall encompasses about 34,000 square feet. According to Reynolds, the addition will add about 15,000 square feet. Both projects will house the college’s science and agriculture programs, 10 laboratories, three research labs, 10 classrooms, two conference rooms and 30 offices.
“The Center for the Sciences and Agriculture will be a signature facility on campus that will literally touch all of our students for generations to come,” Reynolds wrote. “We owe it to them — and to those that have given their support — that this facility is completed featuring the excellent workmanship and materials promised.”
The project was made possible through a U.S. Department of Agriculture low-interest loan.
Reach Nathan Kraatz at 937-382-2574, ext. 2510 or on Twitter @NathanKraatz.