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Sunday, 11 October 2015 20:09

Contractors await bid process for $271.2M Mercy Health expansion

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Mercy Health Muskegon expects to begin seeking bids next spring for the $271.2 million expansion and renovation project it has planned for the Mercy Hospital campus. Mercy Health Muskegon expects to begin seeking bids next spring for the $271.2 million expansion and renovation project it has planned for the Mercy Hospital campus. COURTESY RENDERING

MUSKEGON — Mercy Health Muskegon plans to seek bids next spring on a $271.2 million expansion and renovation project that’s expected to draw high interest from contractors.

The Muskegon health system wants to begin site work in earnest in May and start construction in September 2016 on a new nine-story, 480,361-square-foot patient tower at the Mercy Hospital campus, plus renovations on an existing patient tower at the Mercy campus.

“Things will really be heating up next year at this time,” said CEO Greg Loomis, who calls the project “an important milestone for our organization, our patients, our physicians, and the lakeshore community.”

“This is a great thing for Muskegon,” he said. “We’re focused on the future.”

Mercy Health targets occupancy for the new patient tower and renovated space for June 2019.

Mercy Health Muskegon’s corporate parent, Livonia-based Trinity Health, last month approved the project, which will consolidate inpatient medical care at the Mercy Hospital campus on Sherman Avenue and transition Hackley Hospital nearly three miles away into an outpatient medical center.

The project is the largest in health care in several years in West Michigan and should attract plenty of bids from contractors and subcontractors, said Norm Brady, president and CEO of the Grand Rapids-based the Associated Builders and Contractors Western Michigan Chapter.

“They’ll find a lot of interest,” Brady said. “A lot of folks kind of have their eye on it.”

Progressive AE in Grand Rapids led the early design planning for the project. The Milwaukee office of HGA Architects and Engineers now leads the design work with support from Progressive AE, according to Loomis.

The Christman Co. in Grand Rapids, which most recently handled Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital’s $66.4 million expansion and renovation, will serve as the construction manager.

The project’s appeal to contractors goes beyond the financial aspects, Brady said. Getting in on a showcase project of that size that has a construction schedule spanning nearly three years gives contractors a “nice backlog” of business and the flexibility to move workers back and forth from job sites as needed, he said.

“It gives them a lot of variability in how they can run the overall book of business,” Brady said.

The renovations and expansion would add the new patient tower and upgrade aging existing facilities that are more than 45 years old, as well as enable Mercy to eliminate costly redundancies between the two Muskegon hospital campuses. Medical services slated to relocate from Hackley to Mercy include surgical beds, adult psych beds, and CT and MRI imaging, plus an urgent care center.

Mercy Health Muskegon also plans to close the Mercy Health General campus and sell the property. The campus now houses an urgent care center, a lab, and a sleep clinic. The clinics will move to the Mercy campus and no decision has been made yet on relocating the urgent care center.

Jeff Alexander, vice president for subsidiaries and strategic integration at Mercy Health Muskegon, expects to begin seeking bids next spring. Architects are now putting the finishing touches on design schematics and beginning design development to create construction documents to bid out, Alexander said.

“We’re just starting to touch on how many contractors we’re going to need and so forth,” he said.

The health system will seek to award as much work as possible to qualified bidders from West Michigan, while also securing national expertise and experience in handling a project of this scope that involves remodeling an existing and building a new patient tower amid ongoing operations.

“We certainly share the interest, whenever possible, of involving local contractors,” Loomis said. “We get that and it’s important to us as well.”

Some of the expertise needed for the project, however, is unavailable locally, he said.

As with Brady, Loomis expects strong interest from contractors.

“This is a big project for the region and for the state right now,” Loomis said. “I think there will be tremendous interest.”

Read 81937 times Last modified on Tuesday, 13 October 2015 10:29

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