Construction of new hospital may begin next summer |

Construction of new hospital may begin next summer

The Memorial Hospital hires project director

Josh Nichols

The Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees has approved the hiring of a project manager to oversee construction of a new hospital.

Hammes Company, a nationwide company with an office in Denver, has been hired to oversee the construction of a replacement for the current hospital.

Right now the target price for a new hospital is $16 million, said The Memorial Hospital Administrator Randy Phelps.

Hammes Company will get paid 2.9 percent of the total project cost.

If the project sticks to budget, the company would get paid approximately $400,000.

Phelps said Hammes Company was chosen because it had a favorable price tag and “had a depth of experience and talent.”

“The firm is huge,” he said. “We would still go forward if a key player from their team left. We felt going with a larger company like them was the right thing to do.”

Phelps said the company has overseen more than 20 hospital construction projects in the past 10 years.

Hiring a project manager is the most recent step taken in the process of building a new hospital.

Prior to the approval of hiring a project manager, TMH board members approved the hiring of a mortgage banker to manage financing for a new hospital.

TMH will pay InnoVative Capital LLC from New York $20,000 up front and the firm will help TMH secure a $15 million loan through the Housing and Urban Development Committee.

Now that the pieces are beginning to fall in place, Phelps said hospital officials and board members plan to undertake an intensive public outreach campaign in coming months to inform local residents about what the plans are for a new hospital.

“We’re going to be holding employee forums in September and October letting them know what the plans are,” said TMH Public Relations Director Pam Thompson. “We’ll also hold a community forum in October to let the public know what we’re doing.”

No dates have been set yet for the October meetings, but Phelps agreed that it was time to go public.

“Now that the project manager is in place we are ready to bring the community up to date,” he said. “We don’t know all the details yet but it’s been a year since we held a public meeting.”

Hammes Company will now assist the hospital in selecting an architect for the project, Phelps said.

“In essence the project manager is an assistant administrator to the hospital for the project,” he said.

Now that the financing and project managers are in place, Phelps said he hopes the process will begin to move quickly.

“It’s still possible that we could break ground mid-summer of next year,” he said.

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