Rival firms protest $649M award to build new Beaumont hospital

By VIC KOLENC | El Paso Times, Texas | Published: February 14, 2013

EL PASO, Texas — Clark McCarthy Healthcare Partners II recently won a $649 million contract to build the new William Beaumont Army Medical Center at Fort Bliss.

However, the joint venture of Clark Construction Group of Bethesda, Md., and McCarthy Building Companies of St. Louis, won't be able to proceed with the contract yet because two other joint ventures are protesting the award, reported John Rodgers. He's the hospital project contracting officer for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Fort Worth, which awarded the contract and is overseeing the project.

The protests were recently filed with the U.S. Government Accountability Office by a joint venture of Turner Construction of New York, Southland Industries, a California mechanical contractor, and M.C. Dean, a Virginia engineering firm, and another joint venture made up of The Walsh Group, a Chicago contractor, and Vaughn Construction of Houston.

A decision on the protest is expected by May, Rodgers said.

Officials with Clark McCarthy had no comment on its contract award.

The Clark McCarthy bid, one of five bids received for the hospital construction, was less than expected for the biggest piece of the William Beaumont project, Rodgers said.

Almost $960 million was allocated by Congress for the project, which will be made up of eight contract awards. Three contracts were already awarded for $43 million for roads, utilities, a water tower, and other infrastructure for the project.

Army officials last summer estimated the entire cost of the project at more than $1 billion when all construction and hospital equipment are totaled.

Clark McCarthy's $649 million contract is for construction of the 135-bed, four-building hospital complex.

It will be on a 270-acre site at Loop 375 and Spur 601, on the eastern edge of Fort Bliss, and on the edge of the city's Butterfield Trail golf course.

Clark McCarthy is expected to subcontract much of the construction, Rodgers said. Its contract has goals for hiring a certain percentage of small businesses, he noted.

The hospital is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2016. It will replace the 145-bed, 41-year-old Beaumont hospital in Northeast El Paso.

Contracts to build parking lots, a helipad, access control points and landscaping will be solicited and awarded over the next three years, Rodgers reported. The parking lot construction contract is expected to be solicited in late summer or early fall and awarded by the end of the year, he said. The landscaping contract isn't scheduled to be awarded until June 2015, he said.



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