By Rob Ollikainen
Peninsula Daily News
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The seven hospital district commissioners Wednesday rejected two bids that came in over the $1.7 million cap.
The OMC board rebid the project with a new cap of $1.9 million.
“I think it’s a critically needed project,” hospital CEO Eric Lewis said.
“We really think the actual cost should be about $1.7 million, but we want to keep the not-to-exceed number 12 percent higher than that and go with $1.9 million.”
The two bids that OMC received Monday were $1.84 million and $2.36 million, respectively.
“Unfortunately, no local contractor bid on the project,” Lewis said.
“We’re in the process of talking to local contractors, which we did before, but we’re talking to them again to try to get them interested in bidding. And we’ve talked to other contractors.
“We feel like we can get at least four bids if we go out and rebid.”
OMC officials hope to reduce the construction costs between $75,000 and $100,000 by simplifying the design for the 2,800-square-foot southern expansion of the existing emergency room.
Officials expect to see an increase in visits to the already crowded emergency room with more people covered under the federal Affordable Care Act.
A recent remodel of the emergency room increased the number of beds from 11 to 14.
The new ER will bring the total number of beds to 20. It will have a decontamination room, secure room and four “swing rooms” for psychiatric patients, officials have said.
“Certainly it’s needed,” Commissioner Jim Leskinovitch said.
Lewis said construction companies have “gotten really busy” in part because of an anticipated spike in interest rates.
“We just really feel this project is critical for our community and our patients, and we really need the 20 beds,” he said.
The ER expansion is still scheduled to be completed by next spring.
“If we can get four bids, I think we’ll get a good project, hopefully in the $1.7 million range or less,” Lewis said.
Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5072, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.