Hospital releases more bids

Local contractors have their last chances this month to bid on work at the new hospital east of Livingston.

Livingston HealthCare held a final contractor’s meeting Monday night to explain the last phase of plans, which cover the bulk of the work on the two-story building. Bid proposals are due May 29 at 3 p.m.  

About 15 local contractors attended the meeting. A few questioned the timeline, saying two weeks wasn’t very long to pull plans together, and said they hoped more work would be done with plans to specify what the hospital will need in terms of irrigation, landscaping and signs. 

Scott Bruner of Swank Enterprises, the general contractor, showed up with a fat roll of plans and two additional desk top-sized books of drawings. He handed out CDs that contained the plans and told local contractors not to be intimidated by the immensity of the project. 

“It’s a sizable project,” Bruner said. “Don’t let the size of the plans worry or influence you too much.”

The building’s steel structure is expected to be completed by the end of May, said Rebekah Stoner, Livingston HealthCare spokeswoman. Stoner said construction remains on schedule. 

The $43.5-million project, to be financed by a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, donations and a loan from First Interstate Bank, represents one of the largest projects ever undertaken in Park County. The new medical campus will feature a 25-bed critical access hospital. The two-story facility will be 115,000 square feet and is expected to open in late 2015.

LHC counted 17 Park County residents who were working on the site in April, according to Stoner. From September to date, LHC has spent $921,103.05 in Park County on wages for subcontractors and purchasing supplies and other items like gas locally. 

Stoner said the contractor with the lowest qualified bid will be selected by LHC, Billings Clinic and Swank Enterprises to perform work on the hospital. She emphasized “qualified,” saying the lowest bid wouldn’t necessarily win the contract. 

Bruner said during past bidding processes, Swank has narrowed down to the field to the lowest two or three bids and then tried to work out contracts from there. He said Swank wants to help contractors work together and is willing to negotiate and accept suggestions or material substitutions for plans. 

Work plans released this week included masonry, metals, wood and casework, thermal and insulation, finishes, furnishings, radiation protection, fire sprinklers, plumbing, HVAC, electrical, communications, paving and others. Contractors were asked to submit their bid proposals to Billings Clinic, LHC’s partner.