Lauren Ceronie, Campus Editor

The Board of Trustees voted Friday to approve the resolution that authorized the construction phase of the Armstrong Student Center project. The Board of Trustees voted to increase the budget to $40.15 million. The Board is allowed to award contracts that are 110 percent over the original budget, meaning the Board can award contracts up to $44.165 million.

The total cost of the ASC project was originally estimated to be $50 million but that estimate has been increased to $53.11 million for the total project.

This new budget leaves an unfunded balance of $3.11 million that is to be met through fundraising.

The Board needed to increase the budget for the ASC after construction bids for the project were estimated to be nearly $8 million higher than Miami University originally thought. After the higher than expected bids came in, the university looked into the cost variance and found two problems.

In the Sept. 13 issue of The Miami Student Robert Keller, university architect, was quoted as saying, “This occurred strictly from market volatility.” At the Board of Trustees meeting, Keller clarified that market volatility was one of the issues that led to the cost variance, but an estimation error on the part of BHDP Architecture, a Cincinnati architecture firm the university used, was also part of the problem. The firm underestimated the amount of material that would be needed for the building.

The ASC is still planned to open January 2014.

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