MUN to resume construction on stalled science building

The construction of Memorial University's massive new science building will soon start back up.

MUN has awarded the tender for the remaining work on the core science building.

Work on the $325-million project began in late 2015 but stalled last year when all four bids submitted for the major construction aspect came in more than five per cent above estimates. That exceeds the threshold set out in the province's Public Tender Act, forcing Memorial University to reject them.

But the university has now awarded the tender to complete the work, announcing in MUN's Gazette on Wednesday that the contract has gone to Marco Services, and construction will resume this spring with a planned opening for the fall semester in 2020.

The building was originally scheduled to open in 2019.

After last year's tender was cancelled, the university redrew the specs and plans for the project, and issued a new tender in the fall, with bids opened in March.

The university did not release any details of the new tender or number of bids received. When asked the value of the contract awarded to Marco Services, a spokesperson for the university said, "We are not releasing that information," adding that the overall project budget remains $325 million.

New building to house several departments in one place

The teaching and research space will contain, among other offices, the departments of biochemistry, biology and chemistry, the department of electrical and computer engineering and labs from the Core Research Equipment and Instrument Training network.

The building will also house technical services' cryogenics facility, the Faculty of Science's central chemical stores facility, as well as the Ocean Frontier Institute — a $100-million research partnership with the University of Prince Edward Island and Halifax's Dalhousie University.

The tender award has been cleared by the board of regents and the provincial government.