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QVMC board selects architect

by CHERYL SCHWEIZER
Staff Writer | July 26, 2022 4:19 PM

QUINCY — Quincy Valley Medical Center commissioners have selected Trinity:NAC, Spokane, to design the new Quincy hospital, if the project moves forward.

“This is all contingent on the bond levy,” Joe Kunkel, the consultant working with the hospital district on the project, said. “So, negotiating the agreement, this all stops Tuesday if the bond agreement doesn’t fall in our favor.”

Kunkel said a construction bond proposal is on the Aug. 2 ballot for voter consideration.

The hospital commission vote was 4-0. Commissioner Michele Talley, a firefighter with Grant County Fire District 3, had to leave the meeting before the vote to answer a fire call; however, even without her vote, the selection was sufficient to move forward.

The bond proposal would authorize up to $55 million to build a new hospital on land already owned by the district adjacent to the existing hospital. Because it’s a revenue measure but not a school levy, the bond requires 60% approval from voters to pass.

If the bond is approved, hospital district property owners would pay an estimated 46 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value. The owner of property assessed at $200,000 would pay $92 per year, and a property owner with land assessed at $300,000 would pay $138 per year.

In an earlier interview, QVMC Chief Executive Officer Glenda Bishop said the estimated assessment is just that, an estimate, and the assessment could change as market conditions and property values change.

Trinity:NAC was one of three firms interviewed by a committee of district officials.

The contract fee has not yet been determined. The architect’s fee will be based on the project cost.

“We’re going to adjust this contract at the end of schematic design. When we have our contractor on board and we first start doing our design work, our contractor will give us a better understanding of construction costs,” Kunkel said. “And at that point we will revisit the agreement and make sure we’ve dialed in the percentages.”

There are current cost estimates, Kunkel said, but those will change over time.

“So it’d be kind of silly to say we’re going to commit to that amount (the current cost estimate) to the architect today, because as we design it, things are going to go up and down,” Kunkel said. “And we want to make sure we’ve let it settle out before we’re finally committed.”

In addition, the lead architects will be in charge of the overall design, but other consultants will be needed to design the spaces for some services. Those costs are not included in the lead architect fee. Kunkel cited the hospital’s helipad as an example.

If the bond passes, Kunkle said experts will start sampling the ground and surveying the property.

“We’ll be doing a geotech evaluation, which will be the first thing the neighbors see. In terms of activity, you’ll see a drill rig, kind of like you’re drilling a well. They’ll go down and take soil samples in terms of what the makeup of those soils is, but they also do compaction testing, so they will know how much weight your soil can handle,” Kunkel said.

Cheryl Schweizer may be reached at cschweizer@columbiabasinherald.com.

photo

CHERYL SCHWEIZER/COLUMBIA BASIN HERALD

Consultant Joe Kunkel goes over the criteria for the recommendation of an architectural firm to design a new Quincy hospital. The project is contingent on the approval of a construction by Quincy hospital district voters.

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