Updated 

Not quite ready: Change orders delay finish of UHH building


The University of Hawaii at Hilo’s new Student Services Building has appeared to be complete for months now, but it has yet to open for business.

Administrators and staff hoped to move into the building in the fall of 2013, after primary construction was completed during the summer. But in an email sent Friday in response to questions, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Luoluo Hong reported the university now expects full occupancy not to occur until late this summer.

“We were all very disappointed that our student services offices were not able to occupy the building as of Fall 2013,” she wrote. “For all intents and purposes, construction is not complete until all needed change orders are fulfilled.”

Hong explained that as university workers performed building inspections, they determined a “significant number” of the doors in the building were not ADA compliant.

“A change order is in the process of being implemented to correct this,” she wrote. “The Division of Student Affairs serves a large number of students and visitors every day in our various units and functions, and we take very seriously our kuleana to be universally accessible to all students, regardless of their (dis)ability.”

In addition to the vice chancellor’s office, located on the west wing of the third floor, the building will also house the college’s Admissions Office, Office of the Registrar, Financial Aid Services, Cashier’s Office, the Advising Center, Career Development Services, Disability Services, Counseling Services, Women’s Center, Health Promotion Program, the Dean of Students Office and other student support staff.

The new 35,000-square-foot, three-story building replaces the old Student Services Building, which will serve as the new home of the College of Business and Economics. Administrators billed the $18 million structure as a “one-stop shop to complete all the activities needed to become a full-fledged student at UH-Hilo and complete registration for classes under one roof,” according to a press release issued at the building’s January 2011 groundbreaking ceremony.

Email Colin M. Stewart at cstewart@hawaiitribune-herald.com.

 

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