FLORENCE, Ala. (WAAY) - The University of North Alabama Board of Trustees accepted the low bid to construct the school's new Science and Technology Center.
In a meeting Wednesday, trustees voted for Birmingham-based B.L. Harbert International's bid of $39.7 million for construction.
Cale estimates the project's total cost could be about $40.3 million.
The facility will be built between Kilby Laboratory School and Flowers Hall on Pine Street, housing the UNA biology, chemistry, physics and earth science programs.
Right now, the programs are located in the 51-year-old Floyd Science Building.
The new building is designed to serve as a resource for researchers and scientists working in industries and institutions throughout the region.
“This has been a campus priority for a long time, and certainly among my highest priorities since I first toured Floyd (Science Building) shortly after my arrival,” President William G. Cale wrote in a campus-wide e-mail to the UNA community shortly after Wednesday’s meeting.
UNA has $31.7 million currently in place to cover the majority of the construction costs. Meanwhile, the budget committee in the Alabama House of Representatives has recommended $500,000 for the project, but that measure has not been approved by the Legislature. Cale said, if the need arises, the university has the ability to access the additional funds through its capital reserve funds or borrowing.
A groundbreaking is set for May 6.
The building will be ready in about 20 months, according to Cale.