A sketch of the new TCMH.

Two area firms are among successful bidders for an $18 million project at Texas County Memorial Hospital, the biggest single construction project ever in Houston.

TCMH officials received word that the U.S. Department of Agriculture had reviewed the final construction budget, bid tabulations, contract agenda, bids for equipment and bids for sole source items. The USDA confirmed the requested sole source items in addition to the low construction bids and approved all of the information allowing the general contractor for the job, JE Dunn Construction, to proceed with awarding the construction bids.

The expansion – the largest in the hospital’s 53-year history – will feature a two-story structure. The ground floor will house a 13-bed emergency department, a radiology suite and an expanded registration area. The second floor will feature a 32-bed medical surgical floor with private patient rooms. Additional renovation and remodeling will be done inside the hospital’s current structure as departments are moved to the new structure.

To fund the expansion, TCMH received an $18.1 million, low-interest loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The 59,000 square foot expansion will be funded with $16.9 million. The second phase of renovation totals $1.2 million in loan funds.

Two local firms, Gentry Construction of Houston and Wood Mechanical of Cabool, were the low bidders on two portions of the project. Gentry Construction will provide “general construction” services. Wood Mechanical will oversee HVAC services.

“Sole source” items reviewed by the USDA included those that would only work with equipment the hospital already has in place. For example, TCMH will add scales for weighing patients to each patient bed. The beds used on the new medical surgical floor are the ones utilized at TCMH, and only specific scales will work with them. Bids for the specific scales that go with the beds were only available through one source, and the USDA had to review and approve the bid. There were several “sole source” bids TCMH collected and the USDA reviewed.

“The USDA needed all of the data together for budgetary reasons,” Wes Murray, TCMH chief executive officer explained. The data included bids for everything from the construction of the building to equipment and furniture to be used in the hospital’s expansion and renovation.

Hospital officials hope to close on the USDA loan documents with the Texas County Commission in the next two weeks.

According to Murray, traffic issues involving routing of traffic during construction “seem to be resolved.”

TCMH is applying with the Missouri Department of Transportation to widen the north and south entrances to the hospital.


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