PALO ALTO, CALIF.—Faced with an unexpected dearth of donations, Stanford University may be forced to slow down development of its Near West campus, the innovative, 41-acre science megacomplex designed to pave the way for decades of 21st-century research. As originally planned, a major part of the $350 million project was scheduled for completion in 1994. The slowdown could mean that some of Stanford’s science faculty will have to wait as much as four years longer than expected for their new facilities.

So far, development is on schedule for the first phase of what planners have designed as a two-part construction process. The Keck Science Building—a general science facility—is already in operation, a biology facility is under construction, and a building dedicated to advanced materials research is scheduled for groundbreaking this summer. But a host of other planned phase-one construction projects—including two buildings for information sciences research, and one each for...

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