State Bureaucracy Adds to Hospital Project Cost and Delay

The Office of Statewide Health Planning Development has demanded what some call "overkill" in the foundation of the new hospital building. This requirement caused a nearly $600,000 change order and many delays.nih_foundation_1.jpg

The Hospital Board met in a special session last week to approve a construction change order for $570,246. The change involves adapting the electrical conduit vaults around the massive foundation which includes 50 concrete piers that go down into the ground 52 feet. This state-required foundation will cost at least $4 million more than officials anticipated.

Hospital Administrator John Halfen said that Northern Inyo does have a permit in hand to start construction on the foundation. That work was expected to start today.

Meanwhile, the state has held up the permit for the main building, pending a few final details related to fire protection, Halfen said. He hopes the state will issue the main building permit before the end of the six weeks needed for foundation work.

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