Contractor interest high for new VA outpatient clinic
Hundreds of general contractors and sub-contractors gathered inside council chambers at Cape Coral City Hall Friday morning to hear about bidding opportunities for the new Veteran’s Outpatient Clinic.
Solicitations for bidding on the project are currently posted on the Federal Business Opportunities Web site (www.fbo.gov) and turnout at city hall surprised officials from the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System.
“We had a standing room only situation in the morning,” said Dr. A.J. Dhawan, the associate chief of staff at the Fort Myers Veterans Clinic. “Twenty-five to 30 were contractors and it looks like it will generate a fair amount of interest. We are happy because it will give us a healthier bid.”
A construction contract is expected to be awarded in the fall of 2009. In the meantime, the veteran’s department hired Hellmuth, Obata and Kassabaum, Inc., to design the facility.
Officials from the Department of Veterans Affairs fielded questions from contractors and presented the design and concept of the new facility on Friday. A team was also on hand to answer any preliminary questions the contractors had, said Dhawan.
As of Friday afternoon, the Federal Business Opportunities site had 280 contractors who flagged themselves as “interested vendors.” Vendors were from across the United States, ranging from as close as Naples and Miami to Washington D.C. and Columbus, Ohio.
Dhawan said that not much has changed on the design or rendering of the new clinic.
The 200,000 square-foot clinic will reside on land purchased by the VA at Diplomat Parkway and Corbett Road.
The Bay Pines VA Healthcare system, the administrator of the clinic located outside of St. Petersburg, described it as a “comprehensive healthcare center.”
The veteran population in Southwest Florida has ballooned to nearly 202,000 and officials hope the larger facility in Cape Coral will better serve patients.
Once open, it will offer many services that aren’t available at the Fort Myers clinic including state-of-the-art mental health care, diagnostic testing and laboratory services.
The bid posted on Federal Business Opportunities carries a project cost range of between $50 and $100 million, yet the project’s overall price tag is $131.8 million.
Officials are asking contractors to finish the project by Oct. 2011.
According to a prepared statement from Bay Pines, services at the new Cape Coral outpatient clinic will include: primary care, audiology, cardiology with cardiac non-invasive diagnostic services, urology, orthopedics, ophthalmology, dermatology, minor surgery, and more.
For more information on the project, visit www.baypines.va.gov.