By Nader Ramadan
The American University in Cairo will seek compensation for construction delays of its new campus, President David Arnold said.
“There are penalties that will be imposed for their additional delay,” Arnold said, after a forum held for parents at the new campus on Saturday morning. He did not say how much AUC would seek.
Arnold spent much of the forum defending AUC administration from angry parents, who questioned the decision by the university to move this summer.
He told the gathering at the Mostafa Core Academic Center the campus was still incomplete because of tardiness in the construction of the US $400 million campus.
“We actually moved a year later than we were scheduled or planned to,” Arnold said. “Unfortunately, the contractor has been delayed in completing the project.”
His explanations did not quell attendees, though.
“Being one year late means you had more time to plan,” said one concerned father sitting in the back, who added that he was an engineer. “Don’t put this on the contractors!”
“We know there are always delays [with contractors],” said one woman, who also worked as an engineer for USAID. “Your consultant was not worth the money that you paid for.”
She called the move “one hundred percent premature.”
Responding to the criticism, Arnold said logistical experts assessed the possibility of moving at any other time, and the final conclusion was that the best time to move was during the summer.
“It requires an entire summer,” Arnold said. “An enormous amount of time went into planning.”
When asked about the contractor’s responsibility in the delay after the forum, Arnold said that the contractors missed their June 1 deadline, received an extension until Sept. 1.
He added that the contractors’ excuse for the delay was difficulties in getting worker and subcontractor productivity up to satisfactory levels.
AUC awarded a partnership between global giant Samsung Construction and Samcrete, a local contractor, an LE 850 million contract to build the 260-acre campus.
Yet, Arnold added that Samsung is “very much working towards completing the project.”