MINNEAPOLIS-Strong demand for construction services in Twin Cities is responsible for sending costs up a totalfor $46 million on 10 projects at the University ofMinnesota.

One example is for renovation of CoffmanUnion. The initial projection was $32 million, butthe lowest bid came in at $41 million, and the projectis now on hold. Costs are higher than expected becausebids from general contractors often exceed thedesigners’ construction budget estimate, universityofficials said at a recent Board of Regents meeting.

Subcontractors are so busy that general contractorsare shifting from choosing the lowest bid to simplyfinding subcontractors who can do the job.Construction material costs were up from 17 to 36percent last year, according to university ofofficials. University officials do not see thingsimproving for at least three years.

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