State OKs $1.2M more for upgrade

Staff and Wire Reports The Greenwood Commonwealth

Greenwood Leflore Hospital has received approval to spend an additional $1.2 million on the replacement of aging central plant equipment.

The state Department of Health issued a certificate of need for the cost overrun. Mississippi requires a certificate of need in an effort to avoid duplication of health care services and to control costs.

The original capital expenditure was $10.7 million. The revised capital expenditure is $11.9 million.

Jim Jackson, the hospital’s administrator, said the work cost more than expected. “You run into things,” he said.

The additional expenses associated with the 18-month project included increased renovation costs, unforeseen renovation and equipment expenditures.

The hospital submitted its original certificate of need for the upgrades at the central plant in May 2011. In November 2011, Corbett Legge and Associates of Tupelo was selected as the project engineer. Upchurch Construction won the bid as general contractor.

The original plans for the plant’s core included replacing boilers, chillers and pumps. A new electrical main switch gear and additional emergency generators were installed to provide emergency power to the central plant and the majority of the hospital, according to a hospital press release.

Fifteen new air handlers were installed throughout a significant portion of the facility.

The release said patients at the hospital would breathe 40 percent more outside air, which is provided through air conditioned filtration. The hospital predicted electrical usage would drop by at least 30 percent with the upgrades.

Now that it’s official, the hospital is in compliance with state requirements.

Jackson added the improvements are “completed and in service.”