SMC trustees approve $41 million expansion

Michelle Charles/Stillwater News Press Construction continues at Stillwater Medical Center on the Emergency Room entrance and the new Heart and Vascular Institute. Work will begin soon on an expansion of the surgical facility and the Maternal Child Health Unit, which will take the hospital’s south parking lot.

Stillwater Medical Center is growing again. The Board of Trustees approved a long-discussed expansion of the hospital’s surgical wing and Maternal Child Health Unit.

The new facilities, combined with a connector at the East Entrance will total more than 80,000 square feet.

The project is expected to take 26 months to complete at a cost of up to $41 million. The hospital had originally budgeted $39 million. When general contractor Flintco Construction submitted a guaranteed maximum price approximately $4 million above budget, administrators looked to see where savings could be made and rebid the project.

The current guaranteed maximum price is about $2 million higher than the original budget, but the cost per square foot is consistent with the original number. The project has been enlarged by about 6,500 square feet, Regional President/System Vice-president Steven Taylor said.

Taylor said he expects the project to come in a bit lower than the current guaranteed maximum price because $432,000 in allowances and a three percent contingency fund that totals $860,000 has been built in. Those balances aren’t usually used in full, he said.

The new construction will take up the physician’s parking to the south of the hospital.

Construction continues on the hospitals new Heart and Vascular Institute which is located just west of the main entrance and on the Emergency Room, which is located on the west end of the building.

With active construction projects at three of the hospital entrances, administrators are preparing for parking disruptions, CEO Denise Webber said.

SMC plans to focus on taking care of patients first, she said. Physician parking will be shifted to another portion of the parking lot. An additional staff parking lot that was built last year is already full most of the time, and won’t accommodate any more staff parking.

Other staff will be asked to park at a temporary lot that will be built at SMC’s south campus on 12th Avenue and take a shuttle to the main campus.

Webber said hospital administrators are anticipating some frustration among staff over the parking situation, but they will do what they can to make it as pleasant as possible.

The hospital also needs to begin enforcing regulations that reserve parking for patients, visitors and people with official business at SMC, the staff and trustees agreed.

Some Oklahoma State University students may be using hospital parking and walking to campus, Trustee Calvin Anthony said. That will need to be addressed.

Twitter: @mcharlesNP

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