UT and AS YIT Ehitus have still not reached agreement about library reconstruction works

For the last three months, the University of Tartu has tried to come to an agreement with AS YIT about the volume and quality of construction works performed in the library. On 21 March 2017, the university sent another reasoned compromise proposal to the construction company. YIT Ehitus did not respond and instead of looking for compromise, threatened to prevent the university from continuing construction works in the library by taking the matter to the court. The university was thereupon forced to submit a 670,000-euro claim under bank guarantee against the construction company.

According to independent experts engaged by the university, the performed works do not largely meet the quality requirements and conditions specified in the building design documentation, which is why a great amount of the works cannot be deemed completed. Moreover, in the experts’ opinion, several works performed in the library have been left unfinished or not done at all. AS YIT Ehitus also failed to present the required operational design documentation for specific parts of work on the site.

“The university has been flexible all through the negotiations and is still open for negotiations, because we wish to reach a result that is satisfying for both parties. However, YIT Ehitus wanted us to also accept substandard works, regardless of the fact that correcting and redoing such works involves additional costs,” vice rector for development Erik Puura explained why agreement was not achieved.

Heiki Pagel, head of Estates Office of the University, said that currenly a new procurement for continuation of the library reconstruction works is being prepared and plans are being made for moving the reading rooms in summer. “We continue to be optimistic that we can announce the new procurement in April 2017, make a new construction agreement for continuation of library renovation in June and allow users to enter the renovated reading rooms by the end of the year,” Pagel added.

The University of Tartu made a contract with AS YIT Ehitus for the reconstruction of the university library building for 6,695,970 euros (incl. VAT) in May 2016. According to the contract, the works were to be done and completed in stages and the library was to be opened for visitors at the beginning of October 2016 already.

After YIT Ehitus failed to meet the agreed deadlines and additional deadlines, the University of Tartu sent a notification to AS YIT Ehitus at the beginning of January about the cancellation of the library reconstruction contract and submitting a claim for contractual penalty.

Regardless of the stalled renovation, the university is doing its best to make library books available as conveniently as possible. Temporary reading rooms have been opened on Toome hill in the former National Archives building at J. Liivi 4, and opening hours have been extended in the libraries of academic units. Books can be ordered from the open collection of reading rooms by placing an order via the ESTER online catalogue. 

Additional information:        
Erik Puura, UT Vice Rector for Research, 506 9882, erik.puura@ut.ee
Heiki Pagel, UT Head of Estates Office, 503 2021, heiki.pagel@ut.ee

Viivika Eljand-Kärp Press Officer of the UT Phone: +372 737 5683
Mobile: +372 5354 0689 E-mail: viivika.eljand-karp@ut.ee