Michael F. Easley
Governor

The Great Seal of the State of North Carolina Carmen Hooker Odom
Secretary

North Carolina
Department of Health and Human Services

For Release: IMMEDIATE
Date: July 3, 2007

  Contact: Mark Van Sciver

Roof fire at new Butner hospital prompts opening delay

Butner ­– The opening of the new Central Region Hospital , originally slated for the end of November, has been delayed until January 2008.

On June 19, a fire broke out on the roof at the northeast end of the hospital during roofing construction. Butner Public Safety personnel responded within minutes and quickly put out the fire. According to Terry Hatcher, Property and Construction Officer for the Department of Health and Human Services, the damage was minor and quickly contained and involved no structural damage. The damage is estimated to cost between $300,000 – $500,000. R N Rouse Construction Co., the general contractor for the Central Regional Hospital Project, is responsible for the cost of the repairs since the state has not yet accepted ownership of the building.

“The reason for the long delay is not due to extensive fire damage,” Hatcher said. “It will take a number of months to get the replacement materials ordered and delivered because they have to be custom made for the project. Since we can't pull out the damaged building components until we have the new materials on hand, repairs must wait until then. Rouse Construction estimates 30 to 60 days to complete repairs once the new materials are on hand. We have reviewed the contractor's schedule for completion and we are comfortable that the project can be completed on or before Jan. 11, 2008.”

The delay also affects the scheduled transition of personnel to the Butner site. According to Central Region Hospital Director Patsy Christian, the move of patients and staff from both John Umstead Hospital and Dorothea Dix Hospital is expected to be completed by the end of February 2008 instead of the late November 2007.

“In terms of our transition to the new hospital, this del ay doesn't change the order of what we are doing or how we plan to accomplish it; it merely changes our timeline,” Christian said.

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