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Pawnee Commission hears hospital update
Group will convene again Sept. 12
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By Jim Misunas
LARNED — The Pawnee County commissioners planned on hearing a “Guaranteed Maximum Price,” for the proposed $18.0 million Pawnee Valley Community Hospital Thursday morning.
However, the only guarantee the commission received was that officials working on construction planning from the Health Facilities Group and Murray Company for the hospital will return Sept. 12 with a construction contract.
Commissioners also discovered a firm groundbreaking date — Sept. 25 at 1 p.m. The date allows for U.S. Senator Jerry Moran, R-Hays, to attend the ceremony.
John Settle, Pawnee County attorney, is representing the county on the hospital issue. He’s been through the process every step of the way.
“We have made tremendous progress and we are on the way to a  tremendous facility,” he said. “We are not done, but we are closer. I’m confident we’ve done a good job to this point.”
The proposed contract has bounced between $18.0 million and $18.2 million the past few months and was targeted at $18.2 Thursday. A $263,407 cut had been made to the mechanical and electrical budget line to cut the budget to $18.0 million after a July 20 meeting.
However, Philip Schultze, Murray Company principal, said the proposed price of $18.2 million has increased $240,000 since their last meeting. Shelton Streeter, Murray project developer, and David Wright, Health Facilities Group vice president, assisted with the presentation. Schultze said another 10 days will be needed to finalize all the details on the contract.
The Wichita Health Facilities Group is the architectural firm for PVCH. Murray Company of Overland Park is the construction firm for the $18.0 million project.
“We’re just about there. There is a lot of repetition and you’ve seen it all, but this represents the scope of the work,” Schultze said.
Commissioners agreed to a few options to be included in the GMP — using concrete in all parking, using brick siding instead of corrugated metal siding for an exterior wall and adding storm piping to help alleviate drainage issues.
The extra piping will prevent any water issues on the roof. Exterior water will be routed to the northeast corner of the property.
A backup generator and electric snow melt system were dropped from the proposal. A third of the increased cost, $83,572, was targeted for a 250 KW backup generator that would provide power for valuable CT and future MRI imaging systems in case of a power outage.
Matt Heyn, PVCH administrator, said the presence of backup power would allow staff to conduct imaging in a timely manner on site. Heyn said some patients would be transported to another location if needed.
But the commissioners agreed that Larned’s power plant would be able to restore power in a brief period of time in nearly all cases.
The city of Larned has requested the project complete a connection with a water line that would cost $21,000 that would presumably help maintain water pressure.
Schultze said once the contract is approved, things will move at a predictable pace with periodic deadlines. The 20-month project is targeted to start Sept. 20, 2011 and run until May 20, 2013.
Schultze announced that Mike Smith, Murray Company, will be the construction superintendent who will spend all his time in Larned over the next two years.
Pawnee Valley Community Hospital is using “construction management at risk.”
CMR is described as a project delivery process where a contractor is engaged by the owner during the design process to assist in pre-construction project management support services, and then acts as a general contractor during the construction process. The process offers a “guaranteed maximum price,” for the project. Proposed CMR fees are $992,825 for Murray.
Other alternates have been considered if bids are lower than expected. He said a recent bid came in 1 percent under the projected cost.
The alternates are Add finish and Mechanical, electrical for two patient rooms, $187,999;  Add shell space for two patient rooms, $89,399; South parking extension, $16,065; Meccho shades, $7,382.  
Murray Company has done work for the Hays Medical Center, Rush County Medical Hospital in La Crosse and the Kiowa County Medical Hospital in Greensburg.