Pusey Spending Could Exceed Budget; Officials May Delay Library Opening

Final costs for the Nathan M. Pusey Library may exceed the proposed budget by as much as $25,000, and last minute touch-ups may delay the library's planned February 9 opening, a Harvard official said yesterday.

Louis E. Martin, Librarian of Harvard College, attributed his prediction of a cost overrun to minor disputes with construction contractors and extra spending for more security, but added that he considered the potential spending increase "moderate."

Par for the Course

Disputes with contractors are par for the course, and any readjustment of the original contract would be insignificant, according to Robert Thomas, manager of the projects division of the Harvard Planning Office.

Officials from the Volpe Construction Co., the firm that built the library, could not be reached for comment.

The opening of the division of the library that will house the University Archives, which had been scheduled for February 9, may be delayed for a short time while workers finish the interior, Martin said.

Martin said the initial opening will only apply to people using the Archive Collection, and that the opening of the rest of the library to the general public will come "sometime in late February."

"We still have to make some minor changes in interior work--electricity and so on, but nothing major," Martin said.

Martin added that library officials have decided to increase protection around the new library's Theodore Roosevelt Gallery after dark, for security reasons.

Extra funds will also be spent on electrical cabinets for the map collection room, Martin said.

"All in all we're very pleased with the way things have gone; there have been no major setbacks, and we finished the construction before the cold set in," Martin said. "This project has performed very well for us," he added.