Updated March 6 to replace the associated photograph with the story, which previously inadvertently showed the in-progress Wellness Center.

BARSTOW• Barstow Community College officials cut ties with the contractor responsible for its in-development two-story Performing Arts Center, exercising their right to terminate the contract, the school said Tuesday.

The college's Board of Trustees issued notice Monday to end its relationship with ASR Constructors, Inc. out of Riverside, according to a news release, citing "too many outstanding issues that are of concern."

Maureen O. Stokes, the college's spokeswoman, could not specify what the concerns were due to potentially pending litigation, but regular project delays possibly played a role in the board's decision.

The $24.5 million Performing Arts Center broke ground in October 2010 and was originally slated for an April 2012 completion. After missing the deadline, the opening date was again pushed last October to January.

The latest schedule update presented by ASR projected construction would be complete in July, according to the news release.

Reasons for the reoccurring delays weren't made clear, but a previous report indicated officials last October blamed earlier delays on weather and shortages in state funding.

No one with ASR was available at their offices Tuesday to provide comment.

A project management company hired by the college will seek new contractors to finish the center, which is 72 to 73 percent complete, Stokes said.

It is undetermined how long that process will take.

"Choosing to part ways with a contractor during construction is not an easy decision and a decision that is not to be taken lightly," interim BCC President Bill Studt said in a prepared statement. "There are a number of issues to be resolved including outstanding payments for work and materials provided, warranty and logistics."

The outstanding payments reflect work by ASR not completed yet, Stokes clarified.

When finished, the 39,898 square-foot center is expected to hold 755 people and boast other amenities including 227,514 square-feet of parking, a 153-occupant black box studio and other campus upgrades.

The most recent estimate, under the circumstances, is that the center will open in fall 2013, Stokes said.

In the meantime, performers are using the college's interim performing arts center, which seats 70.

Shea Johnson may be reached at (760) 256-4126 or at SJohnson@DesertDispatch.com.