LEE CO, GA (WALB) - After nearly two years of both outspoken support and opposition, delays have pushed back construction for the Lee County Medical Center.
Construction delays prompted Lee County leaders to request an extension from the state on the Certificate of Need (CON) and then temporarily withdraw it with plans to refile it closer to the May deadline.
Wet ground is causing a snag in the project, according to Rick Muggridge, Lee County commissioner.
“We are progressing at a rate everyone is pleased with," Muggridge said. “Our issues with construction is due to heavy rain. We are ready to begin construction on the roads and a drainage project is 98 percent complete but weather is causing a delay.”
The commissioner said the drainage project still needs to be inspected and grass needs to be laid.
Winston Oxford, Lee County Development Authority member, said another delay in the project is finding a day-to-day operator.
“Our operator of the hospital has been in negotiations for about six to nine months now with potential day to day operators that we’ll partner with," Oxford said. "They’ve narrowed it down to two and they’re in the final negotiations and we really think within the next 90 days, at least that we’ll have a contract with a day to day operator.”
Oxford said he anticipates they’ll start building roads for the hospital in May.
Lee County leaders said they are optimistic to break ground in summer 2019. The hospital is still planned for opening in 2020, officials said.
Lee County commissioners said they hope to start construction in the summer months and should take 16 months to complete.