July 3, 2008

Norman HealthPlex Work Continues, Despite Strike

By James S. Tyree, The Oklahoman

Jul. 3--NORMAN -- Although sheet metal workers walked off the job Tuesday, construction is continuing for the Norman Regional HealthPlex, a spokesman for the general contractor said.

Sheet metal workers at the site work for Matherly Mechanical of Midwest City. They are part of a union that's in contract negotiations with a group representing contractors.

Despite the strike, the vast majority of construction on the five-story building continues. A three-story structure is already on the HealthPlex campus near Interstate 35 and Tecumseh Road.

Ronnie Peace, vice president of management operations for Flintco, general contractor for the HealthPlex, said about 50 subcontractors are working on the project at various times.

"That particular trade is on standstill, but the others are going on," he said. "The project is still going on, and hopefully the contractors and union can get things squared soon."

Peace does not expect the strike to delay the HealthPlex project, especially if a contract is ratified in the near future.

"We'll just take it one day at a time and go on with getting the building built, and if it lingers we'll get a contingency plan," he said.

Scheduled to open next summer, the building will house Norman Regional's cardiology, orthopedics and neurosurgery units.


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