AUGUSTA – The state has delayed its decision on whether MaineGeneral Medical Center can build a regional hospital to replace inpatient operations in Augusta and Waterville.

The state Division of Licensing and Regulatory Services, which is reviewing the application, says it needs more information on the proposal.

Catherine Cobb, the division’s director, said the record will be reopened for 60 days starting Friday. “We have some things we feel we need to talk to the applicant about to get greater clarity,” she said.

Hospital officials are eager to hear the questions and provide the answers, said Chuck Hays, chief executive officer of MaineGeneral Medical Center.

“We’re still confident it’s the right project, and it will be approved,” Hays said Wednesday.

Hays said hospital officials are prohibited from having contact with state regulators while the Certificate of Need application for the $322 million hospital project is under review.

Reopening the record allows contact and permits the hospital to submit new information.

MaineGeneral wants to build a hospital next to the campus of the Harold Alfond Center for Cancer Care in north Augusta.

The 226-bed inpatient hospital would be on 165 acres between Old Belgrade Road and Interstate 95.

The plan also calls for $10 million worth of renovations to MaineGeneral Medical Center’s Thayer campus in Waterville, which would remain open as an outpatient facility with 24-hour emergency services.

Hays said he had no idea about the kind of information regulators are seeking.

“Certainly, this is the largest project they’ve ever reviewed,” he said.

“Now that they’ve gotten into the detail they have more questions.”

Cobb would not be specific about the kind of information that’s needed, saying the staff first must pose those questions to MaineGeneral Medical Center personnel.

Cobb said the analysis of the application is “95 percent complete.”

Once the new information is gathered and the record closes again, Cobb said, the staff will release a preliminary report.

“The applicant has 10 days to respond, and then the commissioner makes the decision,” she said.

Cobb said new information can be included in the reopened record, such as information about a House committee approving $1 million toward construction of a new exit on I-95 to serve the new hospital.

U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree announced that development in a prepared statement Wednesday.

In January, state regulators held hearings in Waterville and Augusta to get public testimony on the application from MaineGeneral. Almost all the public comments were supportive.