WKU closes bid process for sports medicine complex

Herald Staff

WKU must find an alternate way to fund the construction of a new sports medicine complex.

The university released a statement Monday stating none of the proposals received in the bidding process met the necessary requirements.

WKU released a Request for Proposals in late September seeking a medical provider to run the on-campus health clinic, provide medical services to student athletes and fund the construction of the sports medicine complex on campus. WKU accepted proposals until the November 15 deadline.

According to the press release, none of the submitted proposals met all the requirements listed in the RFP, and the university has decided to close the bidding process.

WKU will continue to look for a provider for on-campus health services. Graves Gilbert Clinic currently operates the on-campus health clinic; however, GGC’s contract with the university ends on December 16, 2016.

“They are looking at various options to lease [the health services] at fair-market value,” director of media relations Bob Skipper said.

Skipper declined to say how many proposals were presented to WKU.

“That info is confidential because a contract was not awarded,” Skipper said.

WKU’s search for a new medical provider to build the sports complex came under scrutiny earlier this year when the Western Kentucky Orthopaedic & Neurological Associates filed a protest against a previous arrangement between the group’s competitor, The Medical Center, and WKU. WKONA claimed the university had unfairly offered the position to the Medical Center without accepting bids from other providers. Following the protest, WKU ended the deal with The Medical Center and opened the bidding process.

WKONA attorney Jonathan Miller said the group commended WKU for releasing an RFP and accepting proposals from other providers. He said although the process ended without WKU accepting a proposal, the group remained pleased WKU chose to pull the proposed deal with The Medical Center instead of facing potential legal or criminal liabilities. 

“WKU’s decision not to pursue that approach is a very wise one,” Miller said.

He said WKONA looks forward to working with the WKU community in the future.

The Medical Center also released a statement in response to WKU’s announcement that no proposal had been accepted. The statement said The Medical Center found out through an email that WKU had turned down all of the proposals. The group currently provides orthopaedic care to student athletes.

“We are, however, pleased to know that Medical Center Orthopaedics will continue to be the provider of orthopaedic care for student athletes for the remainder of the 2016-17 academic year,” the statement read.

The statement also said the original plan to build a sports medicine complex included moving WKU’s Doctorate of Physical Therapy Program out of the Health Sciences Complex at The Medical Center and into the new building on WKU’s campus. The newly vacant Health Sciences Complex would then be used to house the new University College of Medicine-Bowling Green campus. 

“At this time, WKU and The Medical Center no longer plan to move the DPT program and we have decided to proceed with the construction of new space at The Medical Center for the UK College of Medicine-Bowling Green campus which opens in 2018,” the statement read.

WKU will continue to seek alternate ways to build the indoor multi-sports complex.