Delays in AU’s receipt of D.C.-issued building permits have pushed back the construction and opening dates for the Kogod School of Business expansion and the new School of International Service building, according to university architect Jerry Gager.
Demolition is now complete on the former Experimental Theatre and Butler Instructional Center, which stood next to the existing Kogod structure. The expansion project will connect the old building site and the current Kogod building.
The university received the permit Friday afternoon, Gager said. AU submitted the permit application for the expansion in March 2007 and was waiting for various government agencies to review the petition, according to Gager.
However, Gager said he did not expect to wait this long for approval from the D.C. Water and Sewer Authority and the D.C. Department of the Environment to start construction.
The D.C. Consumer and Regulator Affairs Commission’s reviews occurred quickly, but WASA and the DDOE had comments that delayed the process, Gager said.
“[The] permit process has been extended due to a revitalization of the need to exercise additional care in water storm-water management practices,” he said.
Now that the university has received the permit from the D.C. government, it will need to apply for a permit to test water quality. This permit will allow the contractor to drill holes and monitor chemicals in the water. AU must also apply for trade permits, such as electrical and plumbing work, according to Gager.
However, construction is picking up now that the university has been assured it will receive the permits soon, Gager said.
“[We’re] working with the general contractor to minimize delays,” he said.
Prior to the delay, the Kogod expansion was scheduled to open this August.
To start the construction of the new SIS building, the university must receive three permits - a sheeting, shoring and excavation public permit; a sheeting, shoring and excavation private permit; and a tree removal permit, Gager said.
The university has two of the needed permits but still awaits to receive the sheeting, shoring and excavation private permit. Once the university receives that permit, an estimated six to seven months of digging can begin, Gager said.
During digging, the contractor will set up construction trailers on the lawn between the existing SIS building and Nebraska Avenue. The contractor has already applied for those permits. The whole site will be fenced in, Gager said.
Current activity on the site and around the South side of campus is focused on relocating an existing gas line, according to Gager.
Nick Glass, a senior in SIS, said he is not happy with the delays.
“It’s too bad it’s delayed,” Glass said. “I thought they had the ground-breaking, but it’s still a parking lot.”
The Nov. 14 groundbreaking was mostly symbolic, The Eagle previously reported.
The university is formulating plans to build a canopy over the bridge linking the main quad and Butler Pavilion this summer. During the same period, university officials hope to reconstruct the front of Mary Graydon Center.
The plans are currently being “refined to a level that would be a welcome addition to the facilities,” Gager said.
The other project is to extend the first level of the building about 10 feet and build a wheelchair-accessible ramp to the front door, he said.
Andrew Woods, a sophomore in the School of Public Affairs, said the projects are good ideas but different areas should be fixed first.
“I think it’s a good thing in the short-term for the school to be doing projects like this which put in perspective what a student wants,” Woods said.