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Key University of São Paulo Construction Projects Come to a Standstill

08/14/2017 - 10h24

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RAUL JUSTE LORES
FROM SÃO PAULO

After having already spent R$ 120 million (US$ 37.6 million) there is still no estimate as to when the Convention Center at USP (University of São Paulo) will be ready. An additional R$ 60 million (US$ 18.8 million) would be required in order to finish construction, which began in early 2014.

Work at the Museum Plaza construction site, which is also located on the Cidade Universitária campus in the eastern district of São Paulo, has also come to a standstill. R$ 37.9 million (US$ 11.9 million) have been spent so far; in 2015, it was estimated that an additional R$ 170 million (US$ 53.3 million) would be required to finish it.

With an area of 36,000 square feet, the Convention Center, which will have three auditoriums, a projection room, as well as restaurants and cafeterias, was designed for holding lectures and conferences and to avoid the need to rent off-campus spaces.

Ever since construction was suspended, the university has started bidding processes, attempting to pave the way for the private sector to manage the space. There have been no interested parties thus far.

In the meantime, the building has been covered up with sheets of canvas so that it won't get worn down.

Similar procedures were also adopted to preserve the cement and metallic structures used to erect the Museum Plaza, which was designed to hold the Archeology and Ethnology Museum, as well as the Zoology Museum.

Given the deterioration of USP's finances, the current dean, Marco Antonio Zago, decided to suspend construction work.

97% of USP's budget is expected to go toward paying the university's payroll which includes the salaries of over 20,000 employees. The university has an annual budget of R$ 5 billion (US$ 1.57 billion).

Translated by THOMAS MATHEWSON

Read the article in the original language

Eduardo Knapp/Folhapress
After having already spent R$ 120 million there is still no estimate as to when the Convention Center at USP will be ready
After having already spent R$ 120 million there is still no estimate as to when the Convention Center at USP will be ready

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