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Construction stops on BCC's Wellness Center after split from contractor
BARSTOW • Construction has stopped on Barstow Community College’s estimated $12.4-million Wellness Center after the school announced this week it had cut ties with the general contractor.
BCC issued notice Aug. 26 to terminate the contract of ASR Constructors Inc., citing “too many outstanding issues that are of concern.”
It marks the second time in six months the college has ended its relationship with the Riverside-based contractor on a major project.
In March, BCC split from ASR after the contractor had completed approximately three quarters of the school’s Performing Arts Center. The reason given was the same.
A call to ASR’s offices Friday was not immediately returned.
Project delays may have played a role in the college’s decisions.
ASR last projected construction of the Wellness Center to be completed in February 2014 when the project was originally to be finished in December 2012, according to a BCC news release.
“We chose to part ways with ASR Constructors after careful review of all possible scenarios for getting the project back on schedule,” BCC President Debbie DiThomas said in a prepared statement.
Meanwhile, the $24.5-million PAC was expected to have been completed by April 2012, although that deadline has since been pushed back three times. It now should be ready “sometime in the spring,” BCC spokeswoman Maureen Stokes said Friday.
The school now expects the Wellness Center to be ready around that same time, according to the news release.
When asked why the school initially split from ASR on one project and not another, Stokes said the college previously wasn’t concerned with the Wellness Center’s progress.
“The work hadn’t slowed down on the Wellness Center as it had on the PAC,” she said.
BCC will next work with a surety company to find replacement contractors, Stokes said.
The Wellness Center, when completed, will offer students 24,000 square feet of space for exercising, playing sports and learning about physical education.
The California Community College’s Chancellor’s office is paying 90 percent of the building’s cost, while BCC will pick up the remaining 10 percent, Stokes confirmed.
Shea Johnson may be reached at (760) 256-4126 or at SJohnson@DesertDispatch.com.