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ASCC’s new Multipurpose Community Center set for completion next month

The new center is being built on the malae just tot the east of the main enterance to ASCC.[SN file photo]

The new ‘green’ building at the American Samoa Community College (ASCC) campus is about 90% complete and once it is ready for occupancy, the structure will serve as a Multipurpose Community Center that will cater not only to students, but also the local community.

This is according to J.R. Mirasol, the chief engineer of Paramount Builders, the local company carrying out the work.

The project with an estimated price tag of $5,149,000.00 broke ground in January 2014 and under the original contract, the duration was set at 14 months. However, there have been “Adds and Credits” (change orders) which have contributed to the delay in completion.

“There are items deleted from the contract and items added to the contract as well,” said Mirasol in response to Samoa News inquiries yesterday morning.

“Currently, the credits and adds are in balance and there are no major increases in the project cost resulting from change orders,” Mirasol explained, adding that although the target project completion date had not been met, “we will make sure that at the end of this, we will stay on budget and we can provide a state of the art building for ASCC and the community as a whole.”

According to Mirasol, a change order is just a normal process in every construction project to accommodate the owner and architect’ s requests, and for the building to serve its purpose.

The Multipurpose Community Center is a two-wing project — The “Admin/Student Center” side and the “Auditorium” side. The Student Center part of the building will basically house the of ces, conference rooms, and a student lounge, while the Auditorium will serve mostly as the function room to host events like graduations and other cultural activities. Because the building is environmentally friendly (‘green’), features include PVC panels, low ush toilets, hand air dryers, and turf block in the parking area to improve site drainage.

Natural daylight will be used for all the spaces except for three of ces, and windows are operable for natural ventilation. Energy saving LED light xtures will be used whenever possible. Large ceiling fans in the auditorium will facilitate cooling and ventilating and after all is said and done, the building will be LEED certi ed.

For now, says Mirasol, the target substantial completion date is September 30, 2017.

At that time, the building can be occupied by the end users. Permanent power will be in place, plumbing, air conditioning, and nal touches like furniture pieces will all be set and ready to go.

In the next few days, the elevator will be installed.

Passersby have wondered about the delay in completion. Mirasol said some of the delays were caused by unpredicted wet weather conditions, which hampered the installation of the roof, as well as the waterproo ng and nish materials on the walls.

Change orders are not to blame, as they were made to facilitate the construction and in many cases, enhance the project, he added.

“The project is very unique in design,” Mirasol explained.

The building’ s con guration is a soft “S” curve, which is consistent with the ASCC Master Plan. “The shape of the building and the structural system created some challenges during construction,” Mirasol said. “Some of the delays were also a result of the lengthy time it took to ship materials from the mainland,” he added.

Several things were added to the original scope of work, including the erection of a new emergency generator building in order to remove the equipment that was originally located adjacent to the multi-purpose auditorium. Other additions to the scope of work included much needed Improvements to the ASCC’s Samoan Fale, which got a new roof and extensive site work to provide ADA access.