Construction is at a standstill on the new outdoor arts facility at Seventh Pasture.

With an original completion date of August 1, the facility is already nearly two months behind schedule.

Contractor Hunz & Hunz set a date for Sept. 29 to go over plans and come up with a punch list, but won’t be ready as certain electrical parts will not arrive on time.

H&H was awarded the project last October with a bid price of $666,620. The company was given a one-month extension by the borough manager this summer, but the job was not completed by Sept. 1.

Assemblyman Gary Hanson said he thinks the excuse of not being able to find certain parts is a bad one for not meeting the completion date, as they have had the contract for almost a year.

“How did they make the bid without knowing they had to order pieces needed to complete the job?” Hanson said.

Hanson’s main concern is successfully completing the landscaping before winter sets in.

He said because of the delay in the project, the grass won’t be able to planted until next spring, meaning grass wouldn’t grow until mid-summer.

The Skagway Arts Council decided the best option would be to purchase sod in Whitehorse and have a sod laying party within the next two weeks.

The sod would cost $10,000, exceeding the amount in the project budget.

Hanson said the borough still owes H&H $38,000 but recommends that they not pay it until they are fully satisfied with the project.
If the sod is laid this fall, Hanson hopes to have the grand opening next May.

“The only way we can have grass in by next May in my mind, is to have a sod laying party,” Hanson said.

Hunz & Hunz did not return calls for comment, and Borough Manager Scott Hahn was away this week and could not be reached for comment. -EG