The Medical University of South Carolina has made an effort to include small, minority and women-owned businesses in the construction of its new Shawn Jenkins Children's Hospital.
During an MUSC Board of Trustees meeting Friday, Anton Gunn, chief diversity officer for the hospital, announced $33.9 million in contracting opportunities with these businesses have been identified. That represents about 90 percent of MUSC's initial $42 million goal.
"Putting the finishing touches on the children’s hospital has to be done by somebody," Gunn said during the presentation. "We’re working very hard to make sure that as we build this wonderful children’s hospital that all of the community can partner with us."
Gunn said he expects to exceed the $42 million target.
He said that initially larger, predominately white male-owned businesses had been identified for these contracts.
"We could bid these out to smaller businesses and get the same work done for the same costs and even lower costs," Gunn told the trustees.
There are about 25 to 30 local companies run by minorities or women who have been identified as possible contractors. Gunn said the number of companies fluctuates and probably will change during the next two years.
Some contracts with these businesses will be signed within the next couple of weeks, Gunn said. Other contracts could be signed later, when MUSC searches for contractors to add finishing touches, such as landscaping and paint.
In a separate presentation, MUSC board members learned that staff have raised more than $106 million in philanthropic donations for the new children's hospital. The fundraising goal is $125 million.
The total project will cost $385 million and will be largely financed through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The new children's hospital is scheduled to open in 2019.