Bids opened for MRI project

Jensen Builders of Fort Dodge submitted the lone bid for preparation work on the new Van Diest Medical Center MRI room.

The bids were opened at a special meeting of the VDMC board of trustees Wednesday afternoon. While three contractors attended the pre-bid informational meeting, Jensen Builders was the only firm to submit a bid – $292,091 – which was accepted.

VDMC CEO Bob Mason said the in-house MRI or magnetic resonance imaging, has long been in the plans for the hospital. Currently, the hospital contracts with a mobile service which arrives with an MRI in a semi-trailer which entails taking the patients outside the hospital, regardless of weather conditions, for the procedure. The new hospital was designed with the thought that someday there would an MRI in the building.

“When the new hospital was built it was built with that in mind,” Mason said. There is a space at the back of the hospital in the radiology department which was meant to be the home for the MRI unit. A punch-out opening in the back wall will allow the large unit to be brought into the space, Mason said.

“We purchased a new MRI – state-of-the-art – which will require a chiller and other equipment on the roof,” he said. The MRI purchase, which was approved earlier by the board of trustees, will come in at about $1.51 million, which is under the original budgeted request of $1.533 million, according to Alice Heinrichs, hospital chief financial officer.

Mason said with the contract approved, he expected preparation work on the MRI room to begin as early as next week with completion of the project anticipated by the end of the year.