Stephens County Hospital is moving ahead with construction of a wound care center.
Monday, the Hospital Authority unanimously accepted a bid for construction of the proposed wound care center building from Bowen and Watson of Toccoa in the amount of $445,879.
Bowen and Watson’s bid was the lowest of six bids, which ranged in price all the way up to more than $700,000.
Stephens County Hospital Administrator Ed Gambrell said this is a big step forward in what has been a lengthy process at times.
“We have been involved in this planning process for the wound care center for really about two years,” said Gambrell. “We opened bids back last spring and they were just much higher than we ever dreamed they would be and we have gone back and re-engineered the whole thing. We wanted to cut the cost of it without really affecting the service or the quality and sometimes you can do that. In this case, we did that.”
When the hospital first bid the project in April, combining site work and construction into one bid, bids came in around $1.3 million.
After deciding to separate the bids, the hospital first bid out the site work for the project separately, accepting a bid from Martin Construction of Toccoa in July of $398,000.
Combined with the building construction bid from Bowen and Watson, the project bid separately has come in at a price of about $844,000, more than $400,000 less than the original combined bids.
Gambrell said that this price is more in line with what the hospital was hoping for.
“This is much more in line and honestly, the building is going to be a wonderful building,” said Gambrell. “It is going to meet an important need of this community and be an asset to the hospital for years to come.”
Stephens County Hospital plans to construct a wound care center on land it purchased on Falls Road, adjacent to the Toccoa Dialysis Center.
The hospital has already had Martin Construction clear out houses on the property, but had not moved ahead further on site work while the construction bids came in and were considered.
Now with that settled, Gambrell said the hospital can start very soon with site work and construction.
“Now that we know and we have decided on a builder, I will alert (Martin Construction) to that fact and sign the contract with him very soon and let him get started because he has got to get started first and do some site work,” said Gambrell. “In the meantime, we will sign the contract with Bowen and Watson and Bowen and Watson will coordinate their work with (Martin Construction). Those two companies have worked together many times over the years, so that will really work out well in this project.”
Gambrell said he hopes to have the wound care center project complete by the late spring or early summer of next year.
In September 2011, the hospital entered into a contract with Diversified Clinical Services, out of Jacksonville, Florida, to work with the hospital on the wound care center.
Gambrell has said that the hospital believes a state-of-the-art wound care center would be a good addition for the Toccoa area, noting that there are currently wound care centers in Anderson, Athens, and Gainesville, but none closer.