A lawsuit has put the construction on hold indefinitely. Meanwhile, the cost of steel has spiked, and interest rates are rising. The buildings — if and when they're ever built — will cost the same. But CU estimates its spending power has declined by 15 percent, or $30 million.
"It's an absolute shame," said Tim Romani, vice chancellor of planning and development for the CU Medical School.Groundbreaking on the first of nine buildings was originally scheduled for March. The project will move the medical school from its aging
Steel permeates every aspect of construction, showing up in doors, wire, joists, decks, stairs, railing, frames and studs. In addition, the project's cost was originally estimated using 5.5 percent interest rates. "Depending on how long this takes, we may well have to borrow at higher rates," Romani said.
Romani has pledged to maintain the buildings' size. And the exteriors won't suffer. But the project's architects have begun to develop a list of optional items such as basements, extra walls and landscaping.
"We've made the envelope of the (education) building more efficient," said Andrew Nielsen, a partner with Anderson Mason Dale architects. "And in the process, maybe we've lost some of the graciousness."
All this redesign itself costs money, said Gary Desmond, principal with AR7 HooverDesmondArchitects. "We're spending a lot of time and money, which we never planned on, to figure out how to address these increasing costs," he said.