"Total project cost was about $182 million, so it's maybe looking like $192 million now," said Raymond R. Lafrenaye, vice president for facilities planning and development for UNC Hospitals.
A ground-breaking ceremony will be held April 20 for a three-story physician's office building in the Waterstone development near Interstate 40 and Old N.C. 86 that would include an urgent care center, and the cost for that initial phase also was impacted by the delay, Lafrenaye
"The total project original cost was about $18.5 million, and it's possibly escalating to $23 million now," he
Alamance Regional Medical Center
in Burlington had opposed UNC
's certificate of need application to the state because of its concern over possible erosion of its patient market share if UNC were to open a satellite campus in Hillsborough.
UNC Health Care
countered that it was shifting, not increasing, its capacity, as the case got caught up in a regulatory wrangle that eventually was settled.
"We gave up time," Lafrenaye
said of the settlement.
"The biggest thing is we gave up time.
We also gave up a couple of kinds of practices that we can do."
Plans were for the new 68-bed hospital to open at the end of 2013.
"Now we can only open up the hospital in 2015," Lafrenaye
said, "and prices are going to increase."
"It's going to come out of our capital allowance, so we're not going to be able to do other things that we had planned," Lafrenaye
said of where money would come from to cover the additional expenses.
"It's give and take.
Whatever else we had planned, we may need to upset it a little bit," he
said, cautioning that "these are all estimates at this point.
Until you actually get bids back you don't know what that increase will be."
There also will be operational impacts from the delay.
"The reason we were doing this [satellite campus] was to decompress the main hospital [in Chapel Hill] because we were full all of the time.
We were relocating existing licenses over there" to Hillsborough, Lafrenaye
After the ground breaking, construction initially will focus on water, sewer and electric infrastructure and paving parking lots before the three-story physician office building goes up.
Eventually, there will be 500 staff members at the hospital spread over three shifts.
"We know that urgent care, oncology and radiology and lab will be there, but the medical and surgical specialities haven't been defined yet," Lafrenaye
said, "but it will be a full-service hospital."