By Denise Dick
Ground is expected to be broken early next month on Youngstown State University’s veterans’ resource center.
YSU trustees Monday approved a resolution authorizing the administration to execute a design-build contract for the building with Adolph Johnson and Son Co. of Mineral Ridge.
Design-build, which is new for public institutions in Ohio, allows construction to begin while design is still going on.
Adolph Johnson and Son was selected last month as the best value selection contractor for the two-floor, 6,000-square-foot building on Wick Avenue, but the $1.34 million bid was higher than the $1 million the university had budgeted for the project.
The administration and the contractor negotiated to change some aspects of the building to lower the cost.
One change is the exterior, which will resemble cut stone rather than red brick.
“It fits better on Wick Avenue than a red brick building,” said John Hyden, YSU’s executive director of facilities.
The initial budget was $1 million for construction and $250,000 for furniture and equipment. The new construction budget is $1.1 million. Hyden said the amount for furniture and equipment was reduced.
“I think aesthetically, it’s going to be a standout,” Hyden said.
Trustee Harry Meshel said the contractor also made changes to landscaping, signage, windows and other items to lower the cost. The university and a committee of veterans are raising money for the new building, which will be at the site of the former Peck House.
“The plans are to get donations for all of it,” Meshel said.
Naming rights will be available for donors, and many donations already have come in.
“It’s one of those kinds of facilities for which people have no difficulty giving,” he said.
The construction schedule calls for the building to be done by May.