Dayton Children’s targets local business for $140M project

By Tristan Navera – Dayton Business Journal

The massive, three-year project to add an eight-story tower at Dayton Children’s Hospital will provide work for dozens of contractors and lead to hundreds of new construction jobs.

And officials want local businesses to lead the charge on the project.

Danis Building Construction has been named to the project but most of the contractor work is still up for grabs.

The project will consist of $95 million to $100 million in construction with the balance of the $140 million price tag in equipment and soft costs, said Jim Albertson, project director at Danis, adding that it’s going to be larger in scope than the last big health care construction project in Dayton, the $135 million Indu & Raj Soin Medical Center in Beavercreek.

Albertson will oversee the project, which will ultimately entail 1,300 tradesmen, half to a quarter of whom will be new construction jobs. About 175 people will be working on the facility at any one time, growing to 350 as the project nears completion. The project managers will be preferring local companies, and larger out-of-town companies looking at the project will be told to try and partner with smaller local firms, too.

“There’s a preference to use as many local vendors, suppliers and subcontractors as possible,” Albertson said, noting a diversity initiative to encourage small contractors for the smaller jobs.

“The only time we would go outside the market is if we just can’t find enough qualified local companies to participate,” he said.

Edd McGatha, director of facilities development for Dayton Children’s, said the project will be unusual even in the space of health care construction, because it will take place in the middle of a functioning children’s hospital, with noise, vibration, and HVAC all being concerns for patients.

Contractors will have special immunization requirements and criminal background checks, as well.

For consultants, the hospital will use architects, civil engineers, mechanical, electrical and other engineers, landscapers, and more.

Once the project begins, as many as 75 contractors will be required, some generalists and some specialists for site work, supply delivery, and more. Each contractor could have a number of subcontractors of their own.

“Everything from office supplies to concrete rebar to drawing reproduction and eventually medical equipment and furnishings,” McGatha said. “Really the whole range.”

Cindy Burger, clinical project executive for the hospital, said moving firms will be important because the hospital will be conducting several major moving operations to shift services off campus, store equipment, and bring in and out medical equipment. A number of departments will see shuffling, such as the IT department, which is in the process of moving 100 employees to Tech Town.

The hospital will be updating and replacing much of its technology during the project, too, including computer systems and cable and wiring for future equipment. The current data center, which is being replaced, uses 1990s technology, McGatha said.

Debbie Feldman, president and CEO of Dayton Children’s, said the project will ultimately be a boon for local business.

“Dayton Children’s is a wonderful community asset — the people here love the hospital and support it, so it’s equally important the hospital supports the community,” Feldman said.

Feldman said contractors have been approaching her looking for information, and she’s said there are opportunities for suppliers of all kinds to get in on the project.

The preference for local companies — and big companies that partner locally — is to reciprocate the support the hospital has seen locally, Feldman said.

“I’m thrilled we can support local business and renew our own campus at the same time,” Feldman said.

Albertson said Danis has a database of companies from past relationships and projects and will be consulting with Dayton Children’s to find bidders. They will select and pre-qualify six to seven bidders in each category, so it ensures competitive bids.

To get a link into the project, Albertson said the best move is to contact the Danis Miamisburg office, in order to submit information for the company’s database to be pre-qualified financially to join the folder of interested bidders. Danis will look at labor pools, concurrent projects and other capabilities in deciding which contractors can best work the project.

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