Tribune-Courier News Editor
BENTON– After nearly a decade in the making, the Marshall County Health Department is nearing completion.
At the group’s board meeting Thursday, administrators reported construction was 98 percent complete and work was continuing to progress. There is still no formal opening date, although early estimates put it in February.
“There’s a lot of change orders that are still out,” said financial administrator Cathy Thompson. “Your total to date project with what’s been turned in is $3.9 million and the total they’ve done is $3.8 million with 98 percent complete.”
The board still has work ahead of it as final construction decisions have to be made heading into the final phase. Change orders– substitutions from the original construction agreement– must be approved by the board before they can be finished.
Board member Marty Johnson advocated for change orders to be reviewed by the building committee and then reported back to the board.
“We have a building committee,” Johnson said. “Let them be referred to the building committee for review and then get a summary of what has been presented. Things we wanted done or should have had done that weren’t covered in the contract, they will have to be addressed by a change order. But there’s a lot of them in here that they’re calling change orders that aren’t.”
The board will meet again Feb. 16.
Guests at Thursday’s meeting were able to take a firsthand look at the facility.
“Upstairs is essentially administrative offices,” Thompson said. “Downstairs is clinic, environmental and nutrition education. It’s all clinic related.”
The upstairs features approximately 15 offices and three meeting rooms. The rooms may be rented out to private groups. Rooms are also designated to serve as operations centers in the event of a natural disaster or viral outbreak.
Downstairs, the area is divided into separate sections for the clinical portion, environmental services and community education programs.