Price goes up to $11.9M for new NMMC facility

TUPELO – New building codes and advances in technology have pushed up the price tag for a new central sterile supply processing facility for North Mississippi Medical Center-Tupelo.
The cost of the facility – which will allow NMMC to clean and sterilize equipment and materials for surgeries and other procedures – will now cost $11.9 million, a $4.4 million increase over the original budget.
The Mississippi State Department of Health approved the amended budget for the project last month as part of the state’s certificate of need process.
Part of the increase reflects the cost of taking advantage of technology gains, said Bruce Ridgway, NMMC vice president for facility management.
“The components don’t exist yet in the U.S.,” Ridgway said. “This is the first center to have everything that would automate the process.”
The facility, which will be located next to NMMC’s new warehouse on Weaver Drive off South Green Street, will rely heavily on robotics, Ridgway said.
The new International Building Code standards, which took effect after the initial planning stages for the facility, also are adding to the cost of the structure, Ridgway said.
The facility is considered an essential building and had to be built to withstand tornadoes, earthquakes and hurricanes. Those codes require duplication of systems, like boilers and air conditioning.
It will take about 10 months to complete the building and get the equipment in place, Ridgway said. The facility should be fully operational in about a year.
Initially the facility will serve just NMMC-Tupelo facilities, but plans call for it to handle the sterile supply needs for the whole system. Eventually, they may be able to offer services to other health care providers.
“The environment will rival surgical suites in cleanliness,” Ridgway said. “We already have a low infection rate,” Ridgway said. “This should further improve it.”

Michaela GibsonMorris/NEMS Daily Journal