- Associated Press - Monday, July 27, 2015

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - Completion of a University of Wyoming facility with nearly three dozen labs for computer science, organic chemistry and other disciplines has been delayed until October, prompting officials at the Laramie campus and a contractor to trade blame.

The $50 million lab building was supposed to be finished in May and ready for students this fall. Completion now is expected in time for the spring 2016 semester.

A $1,000-a-day late fee that began June 5 hasn’t been enough to create a sense of urgency for Cheyenne-based general contractor AP Wyoming LLC, university facilities planner Matt Kibbon told the State Building Commission last week.

“They are still erecting steel in this building,” Kibbon said. “I get the sense at this point they just don’t care.”

The facility is part of a push by the Legislature and Gov. Matt Mead to improve science, technology, engineering and mathematics programs at UW.

The project has been plagued with delays beyond the control of the company, AP Wyoming Vice President Doug Johnson told the Wyoming Tribune Eagle (https://bit.ly/1U2bRIR ) in a story Monday.

The delays were caused by design changes, weather and issues with subcontractor labor and material, he said.

“AP Wyoming has increased our management staff and brought on additional staff to help alleviate the issue,” Johnson said. “We feel positive that without any future unforeseen conditions or roadblocks, the project will be delivered on time for classes in the spring.”

The state Building Commission includes Wyoming’s governor and four other statewide elected officials. AP Wyoming officials didn’t attend the commission meeting, where some members questioned why the late fee wasn’t tougher.

“It’s cheaper for the bottom line to extend the project at $1,000 a day than to hire three to four workers and pay them benefits, salary and per diem,” said State Auditor Cynthia Cloud.

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Information from: Wyoming Tribune Eagle, https://www.wyomingnews.com

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