The opening of the new Intercollegiate Athletics (ICA) Building has been pushed back another four to six weeks because materials for the project were not delivered on time, university officials said.
Associate Athletic Director Bobby Castagna said the delay is the most recent setback for the building, which was originally set to open in August 2004. Prior to that, the opening dates were pushed to last January and then to mid-to-late February. Castagna said a variety of factors has deferred the ICA Building’s opening. He said sheets of opaque glass for the structure had to be imported from Germany but could not be delivered on time. He also said several materials for use in the building, such as weights and furniture, were not delivered on schedule.
“We’re running a little longer than expected but nothing out of the ordinary,” said Joe Van Thyne, the ICA project manager. “We’re behind schedule but still within the necessary parameters.”
Castagna also said the storms and landslides that occurred in early January and soil contamination caused by organic matter left behind after the clearing of the building’s foundation have compounded the delay.
Van Thyne said project workers are currently finalizing the building’s mechanical system and doing minor landscaping and construction work, and he expects subcontractors to start later in the week.
“We’re on budget. By the time we finish, we’ll be even,” Thyne said.
The University of California Regents approved the project in January 2001, and construction began in November 2002.
At a cost of about $15 million, the 44,032-square-foot building, located next to Robertson Gym on Ocean Road, will provide a facility for UCSB’s intercollegiate sports teams, as well as the coaches and trainers, Castagna said. The two-level ICA Building will feature a training room, a weight room, a study lounge for student-athletes and office space for the coaches.
Much of the enthusiasm for the project is a result of the department’s history of being scattered across the campus, Castagna said. The facility has long been seen as a way for the department to unite. Castagna said the building is “an excellent recruiting tool” and others are anticipating that the scope of the building will be worth the wait.
“Enthusiasm is extremely high about the building,” Castagna said. “It’s such a beautiful building, and we all get to enjoy it together.”
In the past, coaches and teams have been situated in different parts of the campus, allowing for little cohesion in the department, said Bill Mahoney, assistant athletic director for media relations.
“This is a way for us to pull our program together,” Mahoney said. “It gives us a building for ourselves, and that’s something we’ve never had.”