Hospital architects chosen

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At a special meeting Nov. 15, the Hospital Commission chose the architectural team of Tom Johnson partnering with Bates and Associates for moving forward on developing plans for upgrading and modernizing Eureka Springs Hospital.

At the outset, commissioner John House said the commission expected whoever was chosen to make the buildings compliant with requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act and bring the entire facility up to modern hospital standards. Commissioner Leva Murphy added any modifications and expansion must be made with future expansions in mind.

The Johnson-Bates team made a presentation Monday afternoon after Morrison Architects, with Polk Stanley Wilcox, made theirs. When evaluating interviews Wednesday afternoon, commissioners mentioned Bates had extensive experience with hospitals – remodels and new, large and small, including the expansions of Mercy Hospitals in Berryville and Cassville.

The vote was 4-1, commissioner MJ Sell voting for the Morrison team. Mayor Butch Berry said he would have been comfortable working with either firm, and noted an important element in the process will be the mechanical, electrical, plumbing contractor. Both teams had listed the same one.

Berry said he would write the letter to Johnson-Bates asking for their proposal including an estimate, then he and commissioners would review it and see if they deem it reasonable.

Next commission meeting will be Monday, Dec. 18, at 1 p.m.

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