Published December 28, 2016
The contractor tasked with the long-proposed “Hall of Icelandic Studies” has been awarded damages, as construction was halted in 2014 and never re-commenced.
RÚV reports that parliament approved a one-time payout of 120 million ISK to Jáverk, the contractor who won the original bid to build a proposed Hall of Icelandic Studies.
Located in front of the University of Iceland’s library, construction came to a screeching halt in 2014, with only the massive foundation pit dug, leading many Icelanders to jokingly refer to it as “the Hole of Icelandic Studies” instead. In fact, the idea has a history that goes back to 2013.
At that time, the coalition government of the Social Democrats and the Left-Greens put forward the idea, estimating a total construction cost of about 800 million ISK, partly funded by the state. A groundbreaking ceremony was held in March of that year.
Unfortunately, nothing would come of these plans, and the government of the Progressive Party and the Independence Party effectively killed the idea as being too expensive. Former Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson proposed having the structure ready by 2018, in time for the 100th anniversary of the Icelandic republic, but the proposal failed to pass in the Independence Party.
As it stands now, the budget for 2017-2021 estimates that construction will be completed over this time frame, at a cost of 3.7 billion ISK. However, it is still unknown which contractor will be awarded the privilege of building it.