Design errors, delays add $408M to construction costs for Fort Bliss replacement hospital

A federal audit found the construction of El Paso, Texas-based William Beaumont Army Medical Center's replacement facility was plagued with hundreds of design errors, time delays and contract changes, which put the project three years behind schedule and added $408 million in costs, according to the El Paso Times.

The original construction cost for the medical complex at the Fort Bliss army post in El Paso was $812.8 million. Those costs included $648.9 million for the six-building hospital complex as well as additional contract costs, according to a 127-page report released by the inspector general of  the U.S. Defense Department.

In May 2017, the U.S. Defense Health Agency, one of the parties overseeing hospital construction, notified Congress that the budget for the new complex had increased to more than $1.2 billion.

Digging further into the cost increase, the audit found that through March 15, the project had 978 contract change requests and 32 canceled contract requests. In addition, there were 453 engineering requests, including design errors and omissions. Some of the errors noted in the audit include: interior framing issues and problems with the steel beams and light fixtures.

Construction on the medical complex began Aug. 19, 2013, and was scheduled for completion Nov. 26, 2016. Now construction is expected to wrap up July 25, 2019 —almost three years behind schedule.

The delays, contract changes and design errors and omissions added $408 million in costs.

The inspector general has recommended that officials involved with the project be held accountable for actions that caused the delays and sharp cost increases.

The 1.1 million-square-foot medical complex will feature a 135-bed hospital and 30 specialty clinics. It will replace the aging 12-story, 115-bed Beaumont hospital and clinics on the army post.

More articles on facilities management:
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