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LINCOLN UNIVERSITY, PA-The Pennsylvania Department of General Services has selected Skanska USA to construct a 150,000-sf science and general classroom high technology building and a 55,000-sf international cultural center for Lincoln University of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The estimated construction cost for both buildings aggregates $46 million.

Construction cost for the science center is $29 million. “We’ve started site work and expect to reach completion in fall 2008,” says Bill Sahwell, EVP and account manager in Stockholm-based Skanska’s Philadelphia regional office in Blue Bell. “It’s an aggressive schedule,” he adds, “and meeting the deadline was a part of our sub-contractors’ bidding process.”

The science center is a four-story building, plus a basement. It will contain eight computer labs, six chemistry labs, 10 high-tech classrooms and two 100-seat lecture halls with video conferencing capabilities. There will be a total of 20 labs for biology, chemistry and physics, plus administration offices, an animal room, conference room, dark room, greenhouse, student lounge and science library. The architect is Philadelphia-based Kling Architects.

Sahwell tells GlobeSt.com that the two-story international cultural center is a $17-million project, slated to break ground in January, with completion to follow within 17 months. Both buildings are on vacant land on the Lincoln campus.

“The projects are different from typical construction management agency ones, because they are contracted by Pennsylvania’s DGS,” he says. “We’re pre-qualified with DGS and were selected because DGS matches companies with the best capabilities for the projects. These fit nicely with our experience in the fields of higher education and life sciences, and we’re very excited about partnering with Lincoln on the upgrades to its campus.”

Lincoln was chartered in 1854 as the Ashmun Institute for African-American males. Women were admitted in 1952, and it became formally associated with the commonwealth in 1972. It is the country’s first designated historically black college/university. Its current enrollment is approximately 2,500, and among its best-known graduates are Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall and poet Langston Hughes.

The campus is located in the university’s own municipality on Baltimore Pike in Chester County. The science building coincides with an initiative to increase the number of minorities pursuing advanced degrees in the sciences, and the cultural center reflects is growing international enrollment.

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