• Fri. Jun 24th, 2022

University of Iowa sues contractors for children’s hospital windows

ByLinda W. Smith

Jun 10, 2022
The Stead Family Children’s Hospital at the University of Iowa. CREDIT WAYNE JOHNSON, MAIN STREET STUDIO

The University of Iowa is suing two contractors over faulty windows installed at UI’s Stead Family Children’s Hospital.

The lawsuit, filed Friday in Johnson County District Court, names two contractors involved in installing the windows, Cupples Construction of Normal, Illinois and Knutson Construction of Cedar Rapids.

He is seeking to recover the cost of replacing many of the more than 900 windows in the Stead Family Children’s Hospital, as well as in a bridge connecting the Children’s Hospital to the main UIHC facility. It is not yet known how many windows will need to be replaced.

Several windows in the building began showing cracks and bubbles in 2019.

In a Zoom meeting with reporters on Friday morning, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics Chief Nursing Officer and Acting CEO Kim Hunter said that while the issue hasn’t had impact safety or patient care at this point, the UIHC has already fitted protective films and clips to several of the faulty windows to prevent further issues from arising.

The play area at the base of the children’s hospital has also been closed since the window issue was discovered, a decision made out of “an abundance of caution”, said Ui Health Care spokeswoman Laura Shoemaker.

“Building the hospital was truly an investment in our patients, families, and citizens of the state, and we rely on the people we engage with to deliver and follow through with a high quality product,” said said Ms. Hunter. “(The contractors have not) at this stage accepted responsibility for replacing the faulty windows. We are therefore really obliged to file a claim to recover the high cost of this window replacement. Our priority is to do what is right for our patients and our families, all the employees who work here and the visitors who come here, and we will continue to focus on that.

Ms Hunter declined to specify the dollar amount the university is seeking in the lawsuit for the children’s hospital windows, but hospital officials have already asked the board for up to $15 million. admin to solve windows problem so far.

Replacement of faulty windows has yet to begin and it is unclear whether the original window contractors will be used to replace them.

Ms Hunter said hospital officials were “disappointed” the issue had progressed to legal action.

“We contracted with companies to supply windows and install them in the hopes that they would work properly and be flawless,” she said. “And that didn’t happen.”

The children’s hospital was completed and opened for patient care in February 2017, but design changes, material delays and cost overruns hampered the project almost from the start. Originally budgeted at $270 million, total construction costs have already exceeded $400 million, and the hospital’s opening has been delayed by nearly a year and a half from initial projections.

The Children’s Hospital, which includes a 12th-floor observation deck overlooking Kinnick Stadium, has also gained national acclaim for a tradition known as “The wave,” in which football players, officials and supporters greet hospital patients en masse at the end of the first quarter of every home football match.


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