Monday, September 29, 2008
Frank R. Howard Memorial Hospital
Founded in 1926 through the foresight of Dr. Raymond Babcock, and the funding of Charles S. Howard, Howard Memorial is now a non-profit, non-teaching (both indicators of the best care delivery) rural hospital operated by Adventist Health. The Howard Foundation, owner of the building, still has members of the Howard family on its board of directors, and it is the Foundation that has been raising funds, arranging financing, and overseeing the project to get a new hospital facility built on a different site. This old facility, charming and historic as it is, does not meet current earthquake safety standards specific to hospitals and schools. Seismic studies and architectural plans are all in hand for the new location, and the final step of selecting a construction contractor proceeded and went out to bid. When the Foundation opened the bids, they were in for a shock. Their best offer came in at about 150% of what had been budgeted and financed. That is to say, $19million over their estimated project of $39million. They are now looking at ways to alter the designs and build-out phasing to accommodate this new reality.