Hospital anticipates beginning of construction project in August

Texas County Memorial Hospital officials anticipate beginning construction on the 59,000 expansion project in about three weeks, board members heard Tuesday at their monthly meeting.

“It feels like we’ve hit a little roadblock,” said Wes Murray, chief executive officer at TCMH. “The amount of paperwork for this project is vastly different than anything we’re used to.”

Murray explained that bids for the construction and renovation project are ready to be awarded, but everything must first be reviewed by the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) Rural Development — the agency that awarded an $18.1 million low-interest loan to TCMH to do the construction project.

“All of our work with the USDA starts at the local level, and our USDA representative is currently on vacation,” Murray said, adding that TCMH officials are in constant contact with USDA officials to move forward.
Murray noted that all parties involved in the construction planning and documentation are “working with the best interest of TCMH in mind.”

“Things are just moving a little slower than usual right now,” Murray said.

JE Dunn Construction Company, the general contractor overseeing the project, has the bids ready to be awarded. Insurance and building permits are also in place. With final approval from the USDA, TCMH and the Texas County Commission must sign off on all loan documents for the project to officially begin.

“Conservatively estimating, we are shooting for closing on the loan documents in the next three weeks,” Murray said.

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