NCAA certification at risk over critical UH construction deadline

By Catherine Cruz
Published On: Jan 08 2014 06:50:00 PM HST

The days are ticking away toward a critical construction deadline for the University of Hawaii. If it isn't met it could jeopordize the NCAA certification and the university's ability to take part in athletic conferences.

Click here to read Catherine Cruz's article.

HONOLULU -

It looks far from complete.

The Ching Sports Complex is supposed to include sand volleyball courts along with facilities for women's soccer, cross country and track and field teams.

Click here to watch Catherine Cruz's report.

The University of Hawaii is under pressure to comply with a requirement to get the women's programs in their new home since it has failed to meet earlier deadlines.

"The NCAA is a major consideration so we actually shifted stages in the construction, so we would be able to meet NCAA deadlines," said Steve Meder, Director of Facilities and Planning.

Most of the contractor’s efforts have been focused on interior work to get the offices and lockers ready by the January 28th deadline.

UH expects to get a temporary occupancy permit by the city, even though exterior work may still take a few more months and the project won’t be totally complete until later this summer.

The construction delays for that project have been a concern for UH regents.

They've called for an audit of the athletic facility as well as for the UH campus center, which is now running more than a year behind schedule.       

"The current schedule for the construction is to be completed by the end of February," said Chief Financial Officer Howard Todo.

UH officials, however, believe the costs estimates for the new rec center will be within the original budget of $33 million.

But it may not be until April that students will finally to get to use it.

UH has been under scrutiny because of its deteriorating facilities and grand plans to build new facilities.

Meder says the $400 million backlog of repairs has been 40 years in the making.

UH Regents had high praises for a draft plan to get the deferred maintenance and campus modernization under better control.

In November, the board called for a moratorium on new projects

Meder hopes the reorganization plan will mark a turning point for the university.

"Now the rubber has got to meet the road and we have to pull all the brains and expertise, and all the willingness to bear to make it happen," Meder said.

The hope is to begin making some of the strategic changes within the next six months.

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