Building contract delayed for $191 million Children's Hospital in south Lee

A rendering of the proposed new Children's Hospital of Southwest Florida which will be part of the Lee Memorial Health System.

A rendering of the proposed new Children's Hospital of Southwest Florida which will be part of the Lee Memorial Health System.

Video from NBC-2

— The Lee Memorial Health System board has delayed selecting the general contractor for construction of the new $191 million Children's Hospital on the campus of HealthPark Medical Center in Lee County.

The board for the public hospital system was scheduled Thursday to decide which of three finalists to award the contract to and start negotiating terms.

The board now will take up the issue Tuesday, Oct. 9, at 2 p.m., according to the board's administrative office. The board meets at Gulf Coast hospital, near the intersection of Daniels and Metro parkways in Fort Myers.

The delay was recommended by Lee Memorial's general counsel Jim Humphrey, hospital spokeswoman Mary Briggs said.

"The legal team is completing due diligence on the selection process and ran out of time," Briggs said. "They have to review all of the material submitted by the responding contractors and it has been more time-consuming than expected."

A committee ranked Skanska USA Building, based in New York, with Naples-based Gates Construction as the top-ranked firm following contractor presentations last month.

The second-ranked firm is Robins & Martin, with offices in Orlando, and third ranked is Manhattan Kraft Construction, which has roots in Naples.

Skanska was the general contractor for the $172 million, 550,000-square-foot construction of Gulf Coast Medical Center in 2007.

The new children's hospital is a much anticipated project in the region and the Lee Memorial Foundation has raised more than $54 million for it, with the goal of raising half the cost. An anonymous donor in early August pledged a $20 million gift if it is matched.

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