Mall construction delayed

Jeff Sandstoe / Roundup

Interim President Joy McCaslin announced at a faculty luncheon Thursday that the final construction on the mall will be postponed.

The Mall was supposed to be completed in September but has been postponed due to “underground complications,” according to David Tsao, project director of Swinerton Management and Consulting. Swinerton is in charge of construction on campus.

These complications included the removal and replacement of brittle piping in the area, some of which had been in place for the past 50 years, according to Tsao.

Other obstacles in the way of completion, Tsao said, were the relocation of electrical wiring and farm lines.

All of these procedures are costly and time consuming, according to Ed Cadena, deputy project director.

According to the California Public Contract Code, the Mall project was given a budget of $3.9 million and an allowance of up to an extra 10 percent for changes.

Cadena said the unexpected underground replacements exceeded the $385,900 that was allowed for changes.

In order to not violate the code, all remaining work to be completed on the mall project is subject to new bidding and approval by the board members of the Los Angeles Community College District.

Tsao said the re-bidding process is what is expected to delay the completion of the Mall until January.

A total cost estimate for the new construction is yet to be determined.

New features on the mall will include palm trees and a fountain, said Richard Berliner, chief architect for the mall project.

“There will be a sundial as well as a big Brahma bull statue,” he said.

There will also be structures such as the “Big Bench,” and the “Big Table,” which will serve as a meeting place for students to congregate, according to Berliner.

“This is a great project,” McCaslin said. “The Mall is designed for students. It makes the campus a lot more interesting.”