New contract for hospital design

Health architecture firm Silver Thomas Hanley has received a $7.41 million contract to oversee the design of the Monash Children's Hospital.

Health architecture firm Silver Thomas Hanley has received a $7.41 million contract to oversee the design of the Monash Children's Hospital.

The contract comes as the state government opens the tender process on Wednesday to find the group that will manage the construction of the $250 million project in Clayton.

STH has a long-running involvement in plans to develop the facility, winning the original $2.15 million feasibility study contract in 2009.

The 28,000-square-metre building will be set around three central atriums that will include a tree house and play centre. It will be connected to the Monash Medical Centre.

The Napthine government has pledged to complete the 230-bed state-of-the-art paediatric hospital in 2016. The facility had been stuck in the planning stages since 2007 due to budgetary problems and a change of government.

The government has refused to disclose how much money will be spent on the project in the next financial year in a bid to ensure tendering for the construction contract "delivers the best value for money for Victorians".

About $15.8 million had been allocated by late 2012, with Health Minister David Davis telling Parliament last year that it included the cost of compulsory acquiring three blocks of land next to the Monash Medical Centre, which is occupied by medical suites.

The 2009 tender documents originally estimated the project would cost about $217 million.

Monash Children's Hospital is expected to be Australia's third-largest children's hospital.

STH director Ernest Girardi declined to comment on the project or the single-tender contract.

A spokesman for Mr Davis said: "Silver Thomas Hanley has significant hospital experience and was selected through a competitive tender process, and these arrangements have been continued in accordance with government guidelines."

The company has reportedly worked on more than 2000 healthcare industry projects in Australia, Asia, the US and the Middle East.

cvedelago@theage.com.au

Twitter: @chrisvedelago

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