Site work is under way for a new Caldwell public health facility, the first public building to use funds from the Build America Bond program.
Jordan-Wilcomb Construction of Boise was given the go-ahead on Feb. 23.
“As soon as I gave the notice to proceed, they started working through the weekend and the whole works,” Bruce Krosch, director of Southwest District Health, said in an interview. “They were really excited to get going and have some work.”
The contract gives the crews 12 months to complete work on the 51,100-square-foot building, but Krosch said at the rate it’s going, construction could be finished by the end of the year.
The bids for the project were “far below” what the health district was expecting, he said. They had estimated the building would cost about $115 per square foot, but the final price came in at about $91 a square foot.
Nine initial bids were submitted, and the Board of Health selected three of those to submit formal bids. Jordan-Wilcomb was selected, setting the cost at $4.7 million for the building, designed by Olson and Associates of Nampa.
The Board of Health sold bonds for the project to Zions Bank, which is headquartered in Utah and fields 26 branches in Idaho. Zions received an interest rate of 6.02 percent, but with a 35 percent rebate on financing costs from the BAB program, which is part of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act President Obama signed into law in early 2009, the health district is paying an interest rate of just 3.92 percent.
“Construction, land and financing through the Build America Bond program have truly made this project a long-term investment the community can be proud of – one that will better the health of residents in Canyon County for years to come,” Krosch said in a release. “It’s a heck of a deal, and it’s a perfect time to do it.”
“The Build America Bond program can significantly reduce municipal government financing costs, and all local governments should be able to tap into this unrestricted program,” added Cameron Ariel, Zions Bank’s government relations officer.
Caldwell’s existing 32,000-square-foot district health building is 72 years old, and even with an additional 10,000-square-foot facility in Nampa, the demand for services is outstripping capacity. The new building is located near the corner of Karcher and Florida roads, and a 9-acre lot leaves plenty of room to expand.Ron
Bath of Eagle-based Retail Development of North America sold the 9 acres to Southwest District Health out of a 20-acre parcel he owns. He said the health center will be a good draw for the area, with its more than 100 employees.
The remaining 11 acres are zoned for retail and office space, and Bath said he plans to attract dentists, chiropractors and other associated uses.
He’d also like to bring in a day care center, along with fast food and other retail uses.