Trustees for Miami-Dade's public hospital network, Jackson Health System, approved nearly $68 million in contracts Friday to start making the safety-net healthcare system more competitive by constructing new buildings, renovating existing facilities and expanding into Doral.
The five contracts for architects and engineers represent the next step in Jackson Health’s plans to transform itself from a financially troubled hospital system near the brink of bankruptcy in 2011 into a competitive force in South Florida healthcare by attracting more insured patients and excelling in specialties such as organ transplants, physical rehabilitation and trauma care, said Joe Arriola, chairman of the Public Health Trust that governs the $1.8 billion-a-year taxpayer owned system.
“We’re not just building facilities,” he said. “We’re building a future.”
About $46 million of the contracts’ costs will be funded by $830 million in bond proceeds to be repaid through increased property taxes for county residents, an arrangement approved by Miami-Dade voters in November 2013. Another $22 million in contracts will be funded from Jackson Health's financial reserves.
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The contracts will pay architects, engineers, consultants and others to design buildings and other projects at each of Jackson Health’s three campuses in Miami, North Miami Beach and South Miami-Dade, and construction of a new 100-bed hospital, pediatric outpatient center, standalone ER and physician offices in Doral.
“These firms will keep us on time and on budget to continue delivering on our promises,” said Carlos Migoya, chief executive of Jackson Health.
Among the awarded contracts:
▪ Perkins + Will Architects, Inc., for $14.1 million to design extensive renovations at Jackson Memorial, Holtz Children’s Hospital, the Women’s Hospital at Jackson Memorial, ambulatory care centers and Behavioral Health Hospital.
▪ HKS Architects, Inc., for $22.1 million to design a new building for the Miami Transplant Institute, an intensive care unit patient tower, emergency room expansion and other work at Jackson Memorial.
▪ Perkins + Will Architects, Inc. for $15.6 million to design a new 100-bed hospital, pediatric outpatient care clinic, emergency room, physician offices and other facilities in Doral.
▪ Gresham, Smith & Partners for $12.1 million to design an emergency department expansion, renovations to operating rooms, upgrades to building exteriors and other work at Jackson North Medical Center.
▪ Bermello Ajamil & Partners, Inc., for $3.85 million to design upgrades for Jackson South Community Hospital, including renovation of labor and delivery areas, and patient suites.
Firms were selected for design contracts following a process that began in October.
Rosa Costanzo, vice president and chief procurement officer for Jackson, said hospital administrators had negotiated “very aggressive” targets requiring the design firms to subcontract almost a quarter of their contract values to local businesses.
“Approximately $14.3 million … will be spent with local Miami small business enterprises,” Costanzo said.
Tom Koulouris, a senior program manger with AECOM, a Los Angeles-based building and program consultant overseeing Jackson Health’s $1.4 billion, 10-year expansion plans, said an estimated $149 million has been committed by the hospital system’s trustees toward a number of projects.
Koulouris said Jackson Health has moved fast to design programs and services for new buildings, renovations to existing facilities and other work because of the rising cost of construction in Miami-Dade, which he estimated to be 8 to 10 percent a year in Miami-Dade.
He presented trustees on Friday with estimates of total costs — including design, construction and furniture and fixtures — for the expansion projects, including about $484.3 million for the new Miami Transplant Institute, intensive care patient tower, expanded emergency rooms and other work at Jackson Memorial; $157.7 million for a new rehabilitation hospital at Jackson Memorial and $253.1 million for the new campus in Doral.
Koulouris said that by June he would be able to report more precise costs per project, but assured Jackson Health trustees that the final numbers would not differ by more than a few percentage points over the estimates he provided on Friday.
“If any of those pricing milestones are not at budget,” he said, “we stop. We go back into the design. It’s incumbent on the architect to adjust the design to cover the cost, as opposed to many programs where they just go to the owner and say, ‘I want more money.’ It's not going to happen.”
A previous version of this article stated that five contracts worth $68 million would be funded through debt bonds approved by Miami-Dade voters. Four contracts worth $46 million will be funded through debt bonds.