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Saturday, February 25th, 2017

Cost stalls work on Lake Campus center

By Tom Stankard
CELINA - Plans for the proposed $3 million agriculture and water quality center at Wright State University-Lake Campus have hit a roadblock.
A groundbreaking ceremony had been scheduled for Monday. However, WSU-Lake Campus Dean Jay Albayyari said the event had been canceled because an "unexpected delay in final bid-approval process" had occurred.
"I decided we need to rebid the processes," he said. "The bids came back 7 percent higher than what we were anticipating. We believe we can get a lower bid."
Albayyari said the funds are available, and the final design is complete.
"All that's left is to pick a company and accept a bid that's within budget," he said.
The new facility will be located near the shore of Grand Lake and will house laboratories, classrooms, faculty offices and meeting rooms, he said.
Albayyari said $1.5 million was in the state capital funding budget and Wright State will match that amount to fund the campus project.
The center is part of an estimated $25 million proposed expansion project made possible by the university's acquisition of 38 acres of land.  
Other projects include: an advanced manufacturing center, an agribusiness/food program, an athletic/recreation complex and a connector building with multifunctional areas, including a library/learning center.
Director of Student Affairs Sandi Holdheide said 1,336 students were enrolled at the Lake Campus in the fall of 2016, up from 1,172 in 2015. The 14 percent increase necessitated the expansion.
Credit hours per student have also increased. In fall 2016, Holdheide said students took a total of 14,314 credit hours. In 2015, students took a total of 12,995 credit hours. This is a 10.2-percent increase, she said.
The groundbreaking will be rescheduled once final bids are accepted, Holdheide said. She estimated that would occur in April.
"We do apologize, and we will reschedule as soon as the process is back on track, as we continue to be certain that we are being good stewards of the tax dollars dedicated to this project," she said.
Additional online story on this date
Compiled by Gary R. Rasberry
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