Leaders with William Beaumont Army Medical Center, Fort Bliss, 1st Armored Division, Army Medicine, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers participated in a Dry-in ceremony at the Fort Bliss Replacement Hospital, July 12.
During the ceremony leaders presented command coins to be placed in a shadow box along with a signed project scroll slated to be featured in the replacement hospital once completed.
“It’s a beautiful Army day to celebrate a significant milestone for the completion of a new world-class medical center here at Fort Bliss,” said Col. Michael Brennan, commander, U.S. Army Health Facility Planning Agency. “It’s due to the hard work and dedication of many hard-working individuals that this magnificent hospital is rising out of the ground.”
The dry-in ceremony, a construction milestone, signifies the hospital’s exterior being dried in and sufficiently completed enough to keep water from entering the building’s enclosure. The exterior’s drying also allows for weather-sensitive construction to begin in the interior of the hospital.
“Staff at WBAMC are working in a facility that was designed decades ago that did not envision modern technology, modern practices, spacing needs and evidence-based designs,” said Brennan. “These features will be included in this new world-class facility.”
The replacement hospital campus encompasses six major structures consisting of a seven-story hospital, clinical buildings, an administrative building, clinical investigations building and a central utility plant. In addition to the six buildings, a centralized rotunda will connect four of the buildings to provide beneficiaries a seamless transfer of care if needed.
“The WBAMC family and I are eager to see this new hospital’s completion and this ceremony signifies a huge movement in the right direction,” said Col. John A. Smyrski III, commander, WBAMC. “It is fitting that Americas’ Tank Division, our Soldiers and their families, retirees and veterans, and the members of the WBAMC family will have such a magnificent complex to have as their own.”
Once complete, the Fort Bliss Replacement Hospital will join over a century of Army Medicine at Fort Bliss. In the late 1800s the Fort Bliss hospital was erected on Fort Bliss followed by William Beaumont General Hospital located just east of the current WBAMC building in 1921 and the current hospital in 1972.
“Each time I walk through (the replacement hospital) there is always something amazing to see, each time we were closer and closer to completion of our future home,” said Smyrski. “We look forward to writing the next chapter of (WBAMC) history at this new hospital complex.”
The Fort Bliss Replacement Hospital, a campus with over 1.13 million square feet, is slated to replace the current William Beaumont Army Medical Center in late 2019. In addition, the replacement hospital is slated to contain 138 inpatient beds, 10 main operating rooms, 322 exam rooms and 30 specialty clinics to include: women’s health services, behavioral health, physical and occupational therapy, gastroenterology, oncology, hematology, general surgery, family medicine, vascular surgery, plastic surgery, and more.
Author: Marcy Sanchez – US Army