Hospital board approves $28,483,000 contract for new hospital

by Richard Uhlhorn

Lake Chelan Health’s board of commissioners held a special meeting on April 5 to hear the outcome of the bidding process to build the new hospital.

Dick Bratton, project manager, explained that the bidding effort was undertaken in the past week with general contractor Bouten Construction. Bratton stated that on the basis of qualifications, 27 bid packages were formalized. “We did significant advertising and solicitations,” said Bratton. “We had significant bid input from mechanical and electrical contractors.”

Brandon Potts, vice president of Bouten Construction, said that the bids went out to 130 bidders including 35 bidders from the Chelan area and region. “We met with 15 local bidders,” explained Potts. The bidding documents were sent to five plan centers including the Wenatchee Plan Center. The project was advertised in the Daily Journal of Commerce and local papers. “We received 86 bids on the project,” he said. This included three local bidders for surveying and dirt work.

Bids came in from five Western Washington contractors, 27 Central Washington, 52 Eastern Washington and two from Idaho. “These bids are good for 60 days,” Potts told the commission.

Hospital bidders

Bratton provided a one sheet  overview of the bids and told the commission that the final bid proposal is guaranteed. The bids came in at $23,491,088 with $100,000 added for differing soil conditions and an envelope consultant to bring it to $23,591,088. With all other contingencies added the final guaranteed price was $28,483,000. “I’m pleased that that number is right on budget,” said Bratton. “It is within the $44.5 million overall project cost. There was a lot of important work done.” The bid amount does not include Washington State Sales Tax which is $2.3 million.

Permits have not been issued, but Chris Finch, senior project manager at CollernsWoerman said that they have received comments from the City of Chelan, Department of Health and the  Washington State Labor & Industries. Bratton added that the USDA (U.S. Dept. of Agriculture) has issued a letter after reviewing the documents. “We have a USDA pre-construction meeting coming up in the board room,” stated Bratton.

The plan on mobilizing at the end of April and start the project on April 26 pending permitting and a finish day of August, 2022. “We need to proceed forward and get the contracts ready for signature.”

Commissioner Mary Signorelli asked if permitting will slow the project down? Bratton replied that he has addressed this with Chelan’s city manager and Mayor Goedde who indicated that they would step in and push back if there was a holdup.

Chairperson Mary Murphy asked if he needed the board’s permission to proceed. He replied that he needed approval on the cost of the project. Jordana LaPorte asked where the $2.3 million was coming from. Bratton said it is in the performa. LaPorte then asked about potential change orders that would drive the cost of the project up. Bratton stated that change orders were covered in the contingencies. LaPorte asked if materials were being purchased from U.S. suppliers or International suppliers? Bratton said, “It’s pretty interesting. Its Buy America right now.”

Fred Miller asked how confident Brouten is with the timeline they have set? Bratton replied that the bidders had to acknowledge the timeline and that the current bids were good for 60 days. “This needs to happen now folks,” explained Bratton. He added that the firm is under the guidelines of RWC 39.10 which covers public/private contracts.

“There is nothing here that is going to get you into trouble,” said Bratton. He added that he is unhappy when looking at change orders. “There is adequate funding available for change orders,” he said.

LaPorte wanted to review the contracts before voting to approve the bid and Bratton said, “That’s why you hired us.” He also said that counsel is reviewing the contracts. Miller added that the hospital hired experts to get them to this point and the project should go forward as presented. The motion was unanimously approved.

After approval of several other resolutions, the board went into executive session for one hour. When they emerged, they announced that they’ve appointed Jeremy Jaech to replace Phyliss Gleasman on the board. No biography is available yet but a Google search offered this: Jeremy Jaech is a technology and software entrepreneur. Currently he serves as managing partner (owner) for Harmony Meadows, LLC.

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