Hospital Expansion

One rendition of a proposed new building at Jefferson Healthcare shows a new emergency and specialty services facility off Sheridan Street that would serve as the hospital’s main front door. The existing main entrance faces the water and is in back of the building off Sheridan. This is not the final design. Art courtesy of Jefferson Healthcare

Jefferson Healthcare's new overall $22 million emergency and specialty services building project – set to start in 2015 – is out to bid.

Hospital district commissioners gave the project yet another green light earlier this month, opening the project to bidders Dec. 24. There's a mandatory pre-bid conference for bidders at 1 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 8 in the Victor J. Dirksen Auditorium at the hospital, 834 Sheridan Ave. in Port Townsend.

“Every time I've presented the emergency and specialty project I've told you that we're not there yet, that this is just the interim step,” hospital CEO Mike Glenn told the board Dec. 10. But as bids come in, the project is closer than ever to reality.

The bids are to be opened Jan. 29 and would be read aloud that day.

Glenn told the board that it was rapidly getting to the point that it will be “all in” with the overall $22 million project. Construction alone is expected to cost roughly $19,075,000, including a 9 percent sales tax, some of which the City of Port Townsend would receive.

Commissioner Tony DeLeo made the motion to accept Glenn's recommendation to move forward and put the project to bid; seconded by Commissioner Jill Buhler, it was unanimously approved.

There was no public comment.

THE PROJECT

The project is a new three-story, 45,842 square-foot hospital-grade section, a remodel of portions of buildings on the campus that were built in 1965 and 1988, and demolition of a building constructed in 1929, according to an advertisement.

Two reconfigurations of parking areas including 28 handicapped accessible stalls and associated site work are included. A new fuel tank and emergency generator also are included.

The hospital is looking for a single contract bid for architectural, mechanical, electrical, civil, landscaping and hazardous material remediation work.

Glenn noted there are eight bid alternatives.

The project is being advertised through the Builders Exchange of Washington, a clearinghouse for construction projects in the state. Architecture firm CollinsWoerman has drawn up preliminary designs for the project and 383 pages of those plans are available on the exchange for review.

As of last Friday, Dec. 26, the project appeared to have already generated some interest with two companies; Graham Construction of Seattle and Precast of Boise, Idaho.

ORIGINAL PLANS

The project was announced a year ago and expected to be designed and construction started in 2014 with a finish date in 2015.

That schedule was pushed back because the Seattle construction market has been hot this past year and the cost estimates rose, prompting Glenn to delay the project.

When the proposal was first introduced in 2013, Glenn noted that Jefferson County’s aging population requires a change in how Jefferson Healthcare operates and what services it provides.

The expanded space will allow the hospital to grow its outpatient services such as its anti-coagulation clinic, oncology and chemotherapy, infusion center for IV antibiotics, pain management and wound center and orthopedics. The hospital also merged two orthopedic practices into one space and Glenn said more space is needed for that growing service line.

The emergency and specialty services building also would house an emergency room, diagnostic imaging, sleep medicine and central registration and serve as the hospital’s main entrance off Sheridan Street.

(1) comment

Tom Thiersch

"There was no public comment." Correct, and here's why: Why would anyone bother to comment, when the Public Comment period is always set as the last item on the agenda?

At hospital district board meetings, by the time any member of the public has an opportunity to speak on any subject, all discussions, deliberations, and final decisions have been made.

For many years now, I have repeatedly recommended to this board that they adopt the practice used by many other local agencies by -- at a minimum -- putting their Public Comment period first on the agenda. That way, any input from the public can be considered before any action is taken by the board. That recommendation has been summarily dismissed and ignored.

Compare this board's disregard for the public's opinions to the way that the Port Townsend City Council conducts its meetings, where Public Comment is solicited at the start of the meeting as well as before every item on the agenda.

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