MUSC's Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital (copy) (copy)

The MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital was scheduled to open in October 2019, but the opening date has been delayed. File/Brad Nettles/Staff

Leaders at the Medical University of South Carolina announced last month the new MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children's Hospital would open Dec. 14 after the long-projected October opening date was delayed. 

On Wednesday, they told staff the opening would be delayed again. 

In an email to employees, Dr. Mark Scheurer, chief of the women's and children's service line at MUSC, said, "We look forward to a 2020 move-in day and will keep you informed once the contractors have made sufficient progress to reliably predict and set a new date."

The construction project is being managed by Robin & Morton. During an October MUSC Board of Trustees meeting, hospital CEO Pat Cawley said the contractor had missed deadlines. After Hurricane Dorian swept the South Carolina coast in late August, The Post and Courier reported that several minor leaks in the new building were identified. 

Scheurer said in the email to employees Wednesday an inspection earlier this week "revealed that our contractor ... has been unable to adequately address all of the necessary requirements."

A Robins & Morton spokesman said in an email that "issues surrounding the emergency generators" are the source of the delay. 

"As the general contractor, we will ensure that the issues with the generator are resolved and those costs will not be passed on to the hospital," he said. "We expect to address any final issues within a few weeks. We can’t speak for the hospital as to the opening date."

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MUSC spokeswoman Heather Woolwine said the delay will not negatively impact the hospital's budget. 

"As we look toward the New Year and finally receiving the keys to this one-of-a-kind facility," she said, "we’re taking a moment to reflect on just how far we’ve come and that we remain steadfast in our progress to the finish line.”

The building has been under construction for several years. It is expected to cost $389 million, most of which will be financed through the federal government. The hospital bears the name of local businessman Shawn Jenkins, who founded Benefitfocus and contributed $25 million to the project. Once complete, it is expected to be the most expensive hospital ever built in South Carolina. 

Reach Lauren Sausser at 843-937-5598.