NEW TOWN A Dunseith construction company has been awarded a $13.5 million contract to build a health center in New Town that will serve the Three Affiliated Tribes on the Fort Berthold Reservation.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers awarded the contract to Marion Trucking & Construction.
Jim Foote, project manager of the Elbowoods Memorial Health Center, said Marion Trucking & Construction is a minority firm with knowledge and experience in the construction field.
Terry Marion, owner of Marion Trucking & Construction, said Comstock Construction Inc. of Wahpeton will be the subcontractor on the project. He said this is the opposite of a project at Minot Air Force Base that both companies are working on. There, Comstock is the general contractor building a new dormitory and Marion Construction is the subcontractor. Marion Construction also has the contract for the grounds maintenance at the base. In the New Town area, Marion said his company, which has 52 employees and has been in business since 1989, is just finishing a $2.5 million road project on BIA Road 27 six miles west of New Town.
Marion said that probably next week there will be a preconstruction meeting for the health center project and construction will start in early October.
"This is a major step in the right direction," Foote said of the health center contract award. He said the construction of the facility is the first phase and the second phase will be to add other programs kidney dialysis unit, and diabetes and dental programs to the facility which are not included in the project's first phase.
The Corps will build the health center and when it is completed, the facility will be turned over to Indian Health Service, Foote said.
The health center, to be built north of Fort Berthold Community College in New Town, replaces the existing Minne-Tohe Health Center, a five-day a week outpatient clinic, west of New Town.
This summer the tribal Roads Department began building a road leading to the new health center. Foote said the road will be done in about a week. He said the road has a rough grade, and the curb and gutter work and paving will be done next year. A walking path between the college and the health center also will be done next fall.
The Corps received $17 million in the fiscal year 2009 Omnibus Appropriations Act to build the health center. Last year the Corps awarded a $1.48 million contract to HDR Architecture of Denver to start designing the facility.
Work continues on funding for additional staff for the new 24-hour health center, Foote said. "We're also working with the tribe and Fort Berthold Housing for 60 units of homes, probably 30 duplexes and 30 two- and three-bedroom homes," he said. He said those housing plans have not been finalized yet.
A ground breaking for the new health center is being planned for early October, Foote said. He said the facility is scheduled for completion in later 2011, depending on weather conditions.