Newspaper Page Text
faces further delay
Architects original plan $3
million over budget
Construction of Be hr end's new
library/academic complex has
been placed on hold.
The new facility, to be built
on the east side of campus near
the Continuing Education
building, was originally
scheduled to start last April.
Due to a 3 million dollar cost
overrun, however, construction
isn't expected to start for at least
The reason for the delay of the
state-funded project, according to
Jack Burke, associate Provost and
Dean, is that bids from general
contractors came in around three
million dollars too high. The
state appointed an architectural
firm to design the building
within the 7.7 million dollar
price range allotted by Governor
Robert P. Casey last January.
Two general contractors bid
for the project and both bids came
in over budget.
"They (die architects) say they
didn't get a fair bid," said Burke.
"They feel they’re over bid
because of not enough bidders."
The architects base this
accusation on the fact that the
subcontractors for electrical
systems, plumbing, heating,
venthilation and the elevator "all
came in on the money" explained
Burke. He added the only group
to exceed the administration's
expected cost were the general
At a meeting on last
Wednesday attended by the state
appointed architects, university
architects, and officials from
Behrend, suggestions were made
to simplify the building.
Currently, the architects are
redesigning the structure using
these suggested modifications.
Another meeting is scheduled
with the architects on October
$lOO,OOO machine one
three in Pennsyvania
The new $lOO,OOO
stereolithography laser installed
in the Plastics Technical Center
technology for northwestern
Jon Meckley, a research
associate for the center, said
several local businesses
contributed money for Behrend to
purchase the laser.
Previous computer designs for
industry were only two
dimensional, either on a screen or
on paper. With this machine, a
solid plastic object is cured by
the helium laser from California,
These plastic prototypes aid
engineers and students in
visualizing their designs.
Students won't actually use the
laser itself, says Meckley,
because "one minor mistake
could mess up the whole
prototypes were cut, which cost
between five and ten thousand
dollars. But now. a prototype can
Torn up again: Problems with the gym floor have contributed
to further delays in the opening of Erie Hall. See story, page 3.
10, Burke explained. The
architects will have estimates
prepared as to how much money
will be saved by the proposed
"We are scheduled October
18th at the Department of
General Services in Harrisburg to
be made in several days and only
costing 1,500 to two thousand
Meckley said "There are only
about 150 to 200 machines like
this globally." Once a software
package arrives in a few weeks,
more intricate and elaborate
designs will be possible.
Although hazardous materials
are a concern for the professors
and research associates who use
the equipment, every precaution
is to insure safety.
Goggles, plastic gloves and
aprons are used by all operators.
"There are only three other
machines like this in
Pennsylvania," said Meckley.
Two steps are involved in
creating a plastic prototype, said
Meckley. One consists of
geometric equations in designing
the object on the computer
screen. The other is the actual
slicing by the laser to form a
Although plastic prototypes
are not as durable as the metal
ones of old, the new technology
will make it easier for American
companies to compete with
see where we are oh the project,"
Once a new plan is decided
upon, the project will again go
out to bids from the general
contractors. Burke hopes to have
more contractors in the bidding
acquires new laser
Chieu Lam Pham fThe Collegian
Best in the region: The new stereolithograthy
machine in the Plastics Technical Center creates
three-dimensional plastic prototypes.
"Some Erie general
contractors thought the project
was too big. So, one idea is to
bid the two parts [the library and
academic complex] separately,"
Burke said plans for the
(continued on page 3)