Sage Living

Preliminary architectural drawings for St. John’s Medical Center’s Sage Living show a two-story design.

Dirt is being moved at the future home of Sage Living, and the St. John’s Medical Center board of trustees has tied up a few loose ends related to the nursing home’s construction.

At their monthly board meeting July 18, trustees approved the contract with GE Johnson, a construction company that has built other large-scale projects in the area, including Munger Mountain Elementary School. They also approved the hiring of an owner’s representative, Kyle Gillette, of Schutz Foss Architects in Gillette.

The contract with GE Johnson carries a guaranteed maximum price of $45 million.

“I make a motion that we joyously approve this contract,” Trustee Joe Albright said.

The board unanimously said yes to the contract. The hospital had recently worked with the construction company to finalize it, particularly around a series of “value engineering reductions,” things that Albright said were in the original contract but had been removed.

“The understanding was that the board could add them back at original price as long as it was by a certain date,” Albright told his colleagues. “That was not in the language of the contract. They agreed to put that in.”

Some of the reductions must be added back in by Oct. 1 to maintain their original price, and others by Jan. 1.

Hiring Gillette as an owner’s rep gives the board someone with construction experience who can help trustees oversee the capital project. An owner’s rep acts as an intermediary between an entity like St. John’s and the construction company, reviewing contracts and ensuring that the building process is on time and budget.

“We had several good candidates,” Trustee Michael Tennican told the board. “Kyle Gillette is an architect by training, then he transitioned to a career as an owner’s rep. He has considerable hospital experience.”

Gillette’s workload will likely be heavier as the project gets off the ground than it is for the bulk of the Sage Living construction process, St. John’s CEO Paul Beaupre said. The fiscal year 2020 budget the board approved at the July 18 meeting included $75,000 to pay Gillette.

Contact Tom Hallberg at 732-5902 or

Tom Hallberg covers a little bit of everything, from skiing to long-form feature stories. A Teton Valley, Idaho, transplant by way of Portland and Bend, Oregon, he spends his time outside work writing fiction, splitboarding and climbing.

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