Students make their way across the campus of Suffolk County...

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 trustees, in a rebid, approved Thursday a $26.24 million construction contract for a new science building on the Selden campus, after the first bids last month came in $1.3 million over budget.

The board awarded the contract to J. Petrocillei Contracting Inc., after the architects scaled back the project to come within the $26.95 million budget for construction. The school already had spent $1.275 million for design work.

To bring the price within budget, college officials said, a planned greenhouse was axed and changes were made in some of the materials to be used in the dramatic-looking, three-story 68,500-square-foot building nestled into a campus hillside.

College vice president Mary Lou Araneo said the greenhouse was removed because the campus already has a greenhouse structure that could be refurbished. She added that an observatory, originally cut from the project, was restored.

The contract not only includes construction, but furniture and equipment for the new structure, which will be the Selden campus’ first new building in 37 years.

School officials say the rebidding will not delay the start of construction, which is expected to take about two years. The building is scheduled to open in fall 2014.

Above: Students make their way across the campus of Suffolk County Community College in Selden. (April 12, 2011)