March 16 has been “agreed as the official construction start date” for the new North Platte Valley Medical Center in Saratoga, said Will Faust, chairman of the Platte Valley Healthcare Project (PVHP). This date was announced in a press release from the PVHP on Jan. 25.

PVHP also named Mark Pesognelli with Health Management Services to act as the owner’s representative during construction.

Faust and Pesognelli met with the general contractor, Sletten Construction, a western states construction company with two offices in Wyoming, and the many engineers and subcontractors required for a project like this, to discuss various items.

“Some of these contracts are months old and the cost of materials and other aspects of them may have changed. Sletten also needs some time to work out details with subcontractors,” said Faust.

Some construction activities may occur prior to that date.

“We wanted a date we were confident that we could meet and have everything ready to go,” said Faust. “The weather should be more amenable for building by then.”

This press release also touched on what had caused the four-month delay in this project.

“The long-anticipated approval of the $16 million plan appraisal is in, and PVHP is finally in a position to move forward on construction of the Medical Center,” said Faust. “In the next phase, First Interstate will underwrite the loan, a procedure that is expected to take about two weeks.”

First Interstate Bank is headquartered in Billings, Mont., with 150 offices across the Rocky Mountain West, including Wyoming and specializes in supporting communities through business development.

“This has been a very complicated process, and we have a lot of irons in the fire that are contingent on working through the funding,” said Faust. According to Faust, the approved appraisal has been submitted to the USDA for review and final approval of the loan. “Once everyone is comfortable with the loan commitment and the money starts to be released, we can really start to make some progress.”

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