LOWVILLE — The $50 million bond plan for plans to build the Lewis County Health System Surgical Pavilion, new County Highway Garage and a complete overhaul of the County’s Social Services Building county advance.
Lewis County Health System Chief Executive Officer Gerald R. Cayer and County Treasurer Eric J. Virkler presented the final costs for both projects to the Finance and Rules Committee last week.
Health system bids that were finalized and accepted on March 8 pegged the project at the $33 million bond amount previously approved by lawmakers with $32.9 million.
On March 9, the general construction contract was awarded to the Black Horse Group of Watertown with a bid of $10.44 million.
Other companies won contracts and their bids included:
– Hyde-Stone Mechanical, Watertown, mechanical bid of $5.25 million
— JE Sheehan Contracting, Potsdam, $2.17 million plumbing bid
– NYTRIC Electrical Contractors, Watertown, $3.76 million electricity tender
— Barrett Paving Materials, Watertown, $3.97 million site work
Additional costs include $1.2 million for contingencies; $2 million for engineering and design; $700,000 for project management; and $1.9 million for furniture and fixtures, Cayer said during his presentation.
“The health system team was very happy with where we ended up with the offerings,” Cayer said. “And I got a number of emails suggesting that a lot of people (from county councils and the health system) were happy with the process and where we landed.”
In addition to a new surgical pavilion, the project will gut and renovate the medical-surgical floor so that each room is standardized and private with the possibility of becoming twin rooms in the event of a new “highly contagious period” or other. . increased need for sleeping space.
The health system obtained the state certificate of need for the original design of the surgical pavilion before it became clear that the project estimate would be approximately $7 million over budget due to the issues. supply chain at the end of last year.
The modified design removed space for some specialist practices, a meeting room, three classrooms and an elevator, but “did not impact the main purpose of the project,” Mr. Cayer, making it possible to start construction on the basis of the initial certificate while waiting for the final. Ministry of Health approval of changes.
Despite the challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic, Cayer said it also showed how crucial the project’s improvements were for healthcare providers and beneficiaries.
“I think COVID has really shown that this project is important for the long-term viability of local health care access, and COVID has also clearly identified that we need to modernize and update our facilities,” he said. -he declares. “Advances in surgical procedures and the provision of modern operating theaters (operating theatres) are important not only for ease of access, but also for having an organization that will be able to meet the health needs of the next generation. This is a generational project that is long overdue.
For county projects, construction bids were under budget and below the amount of the bond, which included approximately $500,000 to purchase and make alterations to the former Glenfield Elementary School to house the social services departments while their Outer Stowe Street offices are being reformed. the next two years.
An additional $1.6 million for the purchase of the Department of Motor Vehicles property and the addition of a building to house the Department of Elections on the property, as previously approved by lawmakers, will also be included in the bond.
The total cost of all the projects is $23.12 million, although Mr. Virkler noted that the cost figures for the Glenfield property are very early estimates as final closing of the property is yet to take place. finished.
In addition to the $2.07 million the council has set aside in the 15 years since discussions began to build a new county office building, reserve funds for the construction of the county garage the highway and social services building totaling $695,000 have been set aside to cover costs.
Mr. Virkler and Lewis County Executive Ryan M. Piche suggested that $2.35 million of the general fund balance be used to bring the amount to be bonded to $18 million, as originally planned.
Combined with the $22 million bond from the health system, the projects will remain exactly at the $50 million bond threshold to be processed jointly, although the timelines are different.
The county is planning a 20-year bond while the health system has calculated a 25-year bond, both at around 2.5% interest, although Virkler noted that currently interest rates fluctuate daily.
“All pasting is done under the county name,” Mr. Virkler said. “So we’re going to go out for a collage but … they’ll structure it so that we have a piece and the hospital has a piece. We will make our payment separately (or)…it could be one payment but our payment (the county) will be calculated, the hospital payment will be calculated. We can structure the term differently.
Mr. Virkler told the meeting that he expected they would be ready to close the bond around mid-April.
“(Construction) is going to be a pretty exciting time,” Cayer told the committee. “And with your project (on county buildings), it’s going to be a good summer for Lewis County.”