ST. JOHNSBURY, Vt. (AP) — A major construction plan at the Fairbanks Museum in St. Johnsbury has been postponed due to pandemic-related pricing and labor and subcontractor shortages, museum officials said.
The museum bid out the Science Annex project this spring and planned to start construction in July until the project came in at $2 million or 68% above construction estimates, the Caledonian Record reported.
“We were just honestly stunned to see the costs come out where they did,” Adam Kane, the museum’s executive director, wrote in an email to project donors and supporters on Friday. The museum has decided to postpone construction to early spring of 2022, hoping to drive down costs and do additional fundraising, he said. Kane is also hopeful that the Science Annex will be supported by additional federal funding.
The project is designed as a 6,000-square-foot, three-story annex on the rear of the museum that will house hands-on exhibits for astronomy and meteorology. Plans are for it to also provide a future home for Community College of Vermont operations in St. Johnsbury.
“This is a short-term disappointment for us, but we are thoroughly engaged and 100% committed to building the Science Annex,” Kane said.
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