Suffolk County Community College tosses bids

Students make their way across the campus of

Students make their way across the campus of Suffolk County Community College in Selden. (April 12, 2011) (Credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas)

Suffolk County Community College has thrown out all bids for a new $28.5 million life science building on the Selden campus because the lowest bid came in $1.3 million over budget.

College officials say they are reviewing the bids to see where cuts can be made, but the architect for the project says the project could be rebid as early as next month without a loss of space, and construction can begin as scheduled later this fall.

The project hit the roadblock when bids were opened last month after all 13 bidders overshot the $26.95 million budgeted price for construction work as well as equipment and furniture costs. The college had already paid $1.275 million for design work.

The dramatic-looking, three-story building nestled in a campus hillside with a huge greenhouse overlooking a man-made brook would total 68,500 square feet and would include 20 classrooms, lab space and two lecture halls. The project would be the Selden campus' first new building in 37 years.

Roger Smith of BBS Architect and Engineers of Patchogue, which won a design competition over a dozen other firms, said he had expected lower prices "based on the current economy," but the project "did not produce the economies of scale" anticipated.

He said the firm has already revised plans that will not result in the loss of any key features. Once rebid, Smith said that construction is likely to take two years and the building would be ready for use in fall 2014.

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