Preparations under way for construction

RANGELY I No dirt has been moved yet. There are no workers on the job site.
But there’s plenty going on behind the scenes with the new Rangely District Hospital.
Voters in May approved a bond election to fund construction of the $38.7 million facility.
“There are a lot of things we’re working on so we can start (construction) this year,” Nick Goshe, hospital CEO, said July 21. “We’re not quite ready yet (to break ground).”
One of the things hospital officials have been working on is finalization of a 20-acre piece of land for the new hospital. The land — across the street and west of the current facility — is owned by the Bureau of Land Management and will be part of a lease-purchase agreement for the new hospital.
“The land, which is a key piece, is in the final stages (of approval),” Goshe said. “It’s in the comment period. Once it comes out of that, we’ve been told they will give us title the next day. So, early to mid September, we should have the land.”
In the meantime, Goshe said the general contractor for the project — Adolfson and Peterson Construction, with offices in Aurora — is moving forward.
“The builders are getting ready to have another contract meeting for local businesses that can help with the project,” Goshe said. “These are informational meetings about what the project entails and what we’re looking for. There will be opportunities for local businesses.”
During the lead-up time to the election, part of the hospital’s pitch to voters was that the construction project for a new hospital would be an economic boost to the community.
“I certainly expect, once the project starts, there will be some economic stimulus, just by having the people working and being in town over the course of two years,” Goshe said. “That’s 15 to 100 people who will be in town working on the project and using local hotels and restaurants. That will provide a noticeable stimulus.”
Hospital officials are also looking into supplemental funding through Build America Bonds. The program was part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
“There are some government stimulus programs out there, that if we qualify, could bring in quite a bit of extra money from the government to help with the project and give us a significant bit of interest back on the loan,” Goshe said.
As far as a timetable for the construction phase of the project, Goshe said, “They (the general contractor) will start the bidding process the second or third week of September and hope to break ground in October or November, or December at the latest.”
When it comes to the actual timing of breaking ground on a construction project in northwest Colorado, the weather is a factor.
“We don’t want to break ground in December, when we may have a foot of snow on the ground,” Goshe. “So, the earlier the better.”
Completion of the new hospital is expected early in 2012.
“If everything goes according to plan, we’re hoping to be in in June 2012, at the latest the first or second quarter of 2012. That’s what we’re shooting for,” Goshe said. “Hopefully we’ll see big machinery over there soon digging dirt and getting ready to start pouring foundations.”