AUC to penalize contractors

By Nader Ramadan

The American University in Cairo will seek compensation for construction delays of its new campus, President David Arnold said.

Nader Ramadan

President David Arnold fielded tough questions on Saturday. Photo: Nader Ramadan

“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.”

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3 Comments

Filed under AUC Move

3 responses to “AUC to penalize contractors

  1. Magda Johnson

    I am sorry but Arnold is confusing two separate issues here! One issue is the contractual obligation between AUC and Samsung. The other issue is the premature decision to move to the new campus. To blame the contractors for the decision to move to the new campus is illogical and another example of the way the administration continues to fail to accept responsibility for their ill-conceived decisions. Shame on David Arnold!!

  2. Ruth D

    As a parent of a student attending AUC I am EXTREMELY dissapointed with the experience that my son is having at this school. Poor planning, lots of talk, no action – even to the point where the students are taking action to feed each other is a huge red flag as to the incompetency of the administration. The basics of food, housing, etc are being denied to students who are paying good money to be at this school and whose academics are suffering because of inadequate planning – and obvious lack of caring – by the administration, who by the way, would not have these positions without the students paying tuition. I recommend that students and families (as well as scholarship funds) be reimbursed by AUC for total lack of planning and followup by the administration. Just because this is academia and not part of the business world has absolutely no bearing on their behavior. If I treated my customers with this much lack of respect and caring I would lose all of them and they would insist on their money back. And they would – rightfully so – deserve it.

    I would also hope that with so many ambitious and prestigous students attending the University that the administration might be a little concerned about their reputation. If I had known of the stupidity of their decisions and organization I would never have let my son leave the States to attend.

  3. john sobhy

    As one of samcrete construction stuff & as a senior for parcel 4 PVA I would like to withdraw your attention that the construction era was so tide & most of the time we work 24 hours under very bad weather conditions (full night lighting ), people from around think that its lightening for oil & gas company. What i meant to say that we do our best, work under pressure at the desert site many engineers can’t afford all of this and left the project. Mr. David Arnold Sorry for delay but our excuse that the new campus need a lot of sacrifices.

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