This aerial view available on the Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center website shows the new hospital that is being built at Fort Hood.

Major Site Work for Fort Hood Hospital Beginning Soon

Groundbreaking on Dec. 6 started the new, 947,000-square-foot hospital at Fort Hood's Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center. Construction begins in earnest in April, and it will open to patients in 2015.

A project that is expected to employ a thousand construction workers at its height is under way at the Fort Hood Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center in Killeen, Texas, with construction starting in earnest next month on a new $534 million hospital. Contractors have begun excavating for fiber optic cables and phone lines at the site, where a stadium formerly stood.

The new hospital will replace a medical center that opened in 1965 and was expanded in 1984. It now serves about 45,000 soldiers and 125,000 family members and retirees living within a 40-mile radius, according to a report on the groundbreaking posted by Patricia Deal and Christie Vanover of the medical center's public affairs staff.

Their report says the existing hospital has 600,000 square feet, making it too small for the services it provides: a daily average of 4,622 outpatient encounters, 202 emergency room visits, 26 surgeries, 26 admissions, seven births, and 4,500 prescriptions filled.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers awarded the $534 million contract to Balfour Beatty | McCarthy Joint Venture of Dallas last year. The project is funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

"We have worked hand-in-hand with the architects and designers from Balfour Beatty/McCarthy-HKS/Wingler & Sharp to create a modern campus that is both capable of meeting today's health care needs and is a comfortable place for patients to receive medical care," Lt. Col. Michael C. Williams, project manager for the U.S. Army Health Facility Planning Agency, said in the report. "In a facility this size, people can get lost very easily," he said. "This hospital is organized very simply with multiple entrances and a clear, circulation pattern."

More than 4,200 wounded or ill soldiers evacuated from Iraq and Afghanistan have been treated at Darnall.

"Right now, our behavioral health services are spread out amongst many locations. The new hospital will allow us to centralize services to make getting care easier and more convenient for our patients," Col. (Dr.) Steven Braverman, the center's commander, said in the report. "Numerous soldiers deploy from Fort Hood, and we want to ensure we can handle the medical needs of each and every one of them and their family members."

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