Work halted on $8M project

Van Zandt VA medical Center

Officials at Van Zandt VA Medical Center have stopped construction of a second story on the Physical Medicine and Re­habilitation building after finding a gate to the worksite left unsecured for the fourth time in a week.

Contractor RBVetco must not resume the $8 million project until the company comes up with a plan to ensure the worksite remains secure — as required by the job contract — and hospital officials approve the plan, said hospital spokesman Shaun Shenk.

The stop order went into effect Thursday, so the remedial work is still “in its early stages,” Shenk said.

No one has gotten hurt as a result of the unsecured gate, Shenk said.

The hospital administration is being extra cautious to ensure it stays that way for patients, visitors and employees, he said.

Facility managers and contract officers inspect the worksite frequently, he said.

The contract requires that worksite access be locked or monitored at all times, according to Shenk.

There were issues with the job previously.

In late February, the first floor of the building was evacuated because of fumes from roofing glue.

There were three evacuations of that first floor in August, leading to the requirement that contractor representatives meet with hospital facilities officials daily to discuss upcoming work and potential problems.

RBVetco officials didn’t respond to messages left Friday afternoon asking for comment.

The second floor — originally slated for administrative use only — will also house clinical operations. It’s expected to open in early summer.

Mirror Staff Writer William Kibler is at 949-7038.

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