- Associated Press - Monday, November 23, 2015

FORT RILEY, Kan. (AP) - The opening of Fort Riley’s new hospital has been pushed back after already being delayed more than three years.

The new hospital would replace the Irwin Army Community Hospital, which is the oldest Army hospital in the nation and fails to meet various Defense Department criteria for military health care facilities, according to The Manhattan Mercury (https://bit.ly/1X9cNjD ).

The new hospital was originally scheduled to open in 2012. Then it was announced that a ribbon-cutting ceremony on the new hospital would be held in January 2016.

“That’s no longer the case,” hospital spokesman Jorge Gomez told the newspaper in an email last week.

Although construction on the new building is essentially complete, the most recent delay is because of “remaining points of disagreement between the construction contractor and the government,” said David Kolarik, spokesman for the Kansas City District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which manages the project.

Since the 2009 groundbreaking, the project’s contractor has faced several lawsuits from subcontractors and then filed its own $14.1 million claim against the Corps of Engineers. The case against the Corps of Engineers is under review by the federal government’s Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals, an administrative tribunal that rules on disputes between contractors and the military. Other litigation associated with the project is on hold pending the board of contract appeals decision.

Kolarik said in October that the litigation did not need to be resolved before the hospital can open. But he has since declined to provide details other than to say the facility’s opening would be delayed “until some of these disputes are resolved.”

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Information from: The Manhattan (Kan.) Mercury, https://www.themercury.com


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