Hospital happy with new expansion bids

"The second time around went much better for the Whidbey General Hospital expansion project bids.Four bids were opened Wednesday and all were within the approved bid range, according to Trish Rose, hospital spokesperson.The apparent low bidder was RAS Builders, described by Rose as a nationally known company headquartered in Denver with local offices in Issaquah. RAS bid $4.03 million for the Whidbey General expansion.Other bidders included Dawson of Bellingham, $4.24 million; Quantum of Anacortes, $4.26 million; and George Sollitt of Mountlake Terrace, $4.29 million.The bid won't be awarded until references are checked. When the bid process is completed, the hospital's board will be asked to approve the contract and schedule the start of the project. A groundbreaking ceremony is planned for Tuesday, Sept. 11 at 4 p.m.The first set of bids were opened in June but all were too high. The project was scaled back slightly by deleting the second floor addition for respiratory therapy and postponing a planned family/physician room.The construction project will now include a new cancer clinic, expanded emergency department, diagnostic imaging department, and rehabilitation services, as well as a remodel of the hospital's front entrance and admitting area. Whidbey Island voters last year approved a $5.1 million bond for hospital improvements.A chapel-like quiet room will be built with proceeds from a separate fundraising campaign. "

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