The philanthropic hearts of many in Wickenburg made the project possible by raising $7.5 million in a capital campaign. Subsequently the hospital was able to borrow money from the US Department of Agriculture to completely fund the expansion and refinance other debts.
Entrusted with a large investment from the community, the hospital brought on board Owners Representative Fred Fleck – a watch dog to ensure the project stays within budget and funds are wisely used.
Fleck’s interest in WCH goes back to 2011, shortly after he and wife Jeane moved to Wickenburg. He remembers meeting with CEO Jim Tavary and asking if there were any projects on the horizon and any opportunities for him to put his skills to work.
As the current expansion gradually took shape, Fleck began to advise the administration in the selection of design professionals and the construction team. Now that the project is underway, he represents the hospital daily in connection with the designers and contractors. He also attends all the construction meetings and provides his knowledge as the buildings progress.
Before relocating to Wickenburg, Fleck was the third generation in a 106-year-old company which built commercial, industrial and institutional projects. A civil engineer, he graduated from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisc., in 1965 and was a general contractor for 30 years.
“I’m probably long-in-the-tooth enough to have seen all the tricks and machinations that happen between owners and construction people,” he said with a smile.
WCH’s general contractor, W.E.O’Neil and architectural firm Highton Company continue to work with Fleck and other hospital representatives in the development of the “best case scenario for this project,” he noted.
“It’s been a pleasure working with this team. This is one of the better teams I’ve worked with,” he said.
The project had a guaranteed maximum contract (GMC) price at the beginning, he explained. His job is to make sure throughout the process, purchase of materials, design adjustments, etc., stay within the GMC. Any money saved remains in the hospital’s pocket. As of now, the project is on schedule and within the budget, he said.
Elsewhere in the community, Fleck participates in Friends of Music, Wickenburg Art Club and Rotary Club. He and Jeane agree moving to Wickenburg was “one of the best moves we’ve made in our lives,” he said.
Originally published in The Wickenburg Sun | Written by Jeanie Williams Editor Wickenburg Sun