A delayed $300 million hospital project in San Jose is back on track after what some describe as "reconciliation following a messy divorce."
The Santa Clara Valley Medical Center was supposed to open a new hospital building last September, but the facility was nowhere near finished. The expensive delay led to the county publicly firing Turner Construction, one of the largest builders in the world.
In a stunning move, Turner was rehired, but under a strict new deal that was cheaper than starting over with a new company.
The last subcontractor arrived on Monday, bringing the work force for the project at full strength.
"We've got roughly 200 people a day in the building," said Jeffrey D. Draper, facilities director. "They're making substantial progress on the 6th, 5th and 4th floors in terms of getting rooms ready for full inspection."
Workers are plowing ahead to finish the facility that will house services, including intensive car, an expanded burn unit, as well as the spinal cord, brain and physical rehabilitation program.
"It serves this community on a regional basis," Valley Medical Center CEO Paul Lorenz said. "So not just individuals from Santa Clara County, but from the Bay Area."
The county and Turner are anxious to show previous problems are behind them. For example, Turner has re-engineered the system of steam pipes that led an explosion where a worker was injured at the utility loop in 2014.
In addition, the water damaged roof that Turner once wanted to patch up will be replaced.
"We'll have a brand new roof that will be all warranted and ready to go for the next 10 years," Draper said. "It's a huge change in attitude, and we appreciate Turner's efforts here."
Officials said they hope to finish work on the new hospital by June 2017. The new hospital is scheduled to take in patients by January 2018.