The UH-Hilo College of Pharmacy Building should be completed by July

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HILO – A new permanent building for pharmacy students from the University of Hawaii in Hilo is facing another delay in construction, but university officials are waiting for that the long – awaited project is completed by next summer.

"The construction of the new Daniel K. Inouye Faculty of Pharmacy building has been delayed and we are anticipating the completion and occupation in July 2019," said Kalei, Acting Vice Chancellor for Administrative Affairs. Rapoza.

Previously, it was expected that construction would be completed by the end of 2018.

"The reason for this delay is the addition of improved audiovisual technology in the building, which had previously been removed due to financial constraints," Rapoza said.

The College of Pharmacy was able to allocate additional funds for upgraded equipment, and the work was delayed, so that installation work or cabling could be installed during construction rather than after their construction. completion, he said.

"I do not worry about the delay, because I think this delay is for good reason," Rapoza said. "Yes, we would have liked the building to be open this spring. However, the College of Pharmacy had the opportunity to install and upgrade its audio-visual equipment and it was therefore logical to delay and do the work properly.

The 45,000 square foot two-storey building will house student labs – currently housed in modular structures on the UH-Hilo campus – faculty offices and student affairs under one roof , located next to the Imiloa astronomy center.

Since its establishment more than ten years ago, the college operates from temporary sites while struggling for the funding of a permanent establishment.

In 2014, legislators approved a $ 33 million financing for the building. After several years of delays and budget cuts, the project was awarded to Isemoto Contracting Co. for $ 31.3 million in April 2016. Construction work has begun.

According to Rapoza, the additional equipment will add $ 1.6 million to the project budget and bring the total cost to about $ 33.6 million.

Email Stephanie Salmons at ssalmons@hawaiitribune-herald.com.