New Navy hospital sailing along
The new replacement naval hospital at Camp Pendleton near San Diego will cost $451 million and will have only 67 beds. But with almost 2,000 outpatient and 131 emergency department visits projected for the building each day, it’s not meant to be a typical inpatient facility.
“People always ask, ‘How many beds do you have?’” says Lt. Cmdr. Stephen Padhi, U.S. Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southwest senior assistant resident officer in charge of construction. “That’s an antiquated question.”
While its bed count is low, the new hospital will have 514 patient rooms for emergency, primary and specialty care. There will be dental, intensive care and surgical departments as well.
The Navy doesn’t name its hospitals after people as other branches of the armed services do, so the facility is simply the “Replacement Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton” for now. The formal name for the massive military complex it’s on is Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, which occupies 125,000 acres and features 17 miles of Pacific coastline.
The existing 72-bed hospital, built in 1974, is not in compliance with California seismic safety standards and will be used for administrative offices. It’s also about 10 miles inland while the new facility is near the front entrance of the base and will be something the public entering the base will definitely notice, or driving into or flying over the San Diego region.
The project is being paid for by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, and is being led by Clark Construction Group and Mccarthy Building Cos. working as a joint venture. They were awarded a $394 million design-build base contract on the 497,000square-foot hospital, scheduled to be finished in January 2014. Furnishings, equipment and assorted site development work account for most of the remaining costs. Architect duties are being handled by HKS and HDR.
All the major contractors were on-site since the project began. Earlier this month, the team was recognized with a bronze award from the California Council for Excellence, and it will represent the state during the American Society for Quality’s World Conference on Quality and Improvement, May 21-23, in Anaheim, Calif.
Along with the hospital, the project includes a 20,000-square-foot utilities plant and a 507,000-square-foot, 1,500-space parking facility, which Padhi refers to as the “Garage Mahal.” Hidden below ground are two tanks that will hold 70,000 gallons of diesel fuel for the backup generators. “It’s a 70-acre site, so—if it was not on Camp Pendleton—it would be big enough to be its own base,” Padhi says. “We’re really building a campus— not just another building.”
“We want to create a healing environment,” he says, and that can be erased quickly if patients get lost and frustrated on arrival, so great care was taken to design a facility that can be easily navigated despite its great size.
The healing environment will feature outdoor therapy spaces including a fitness track that rings the campus, extensive use of natural light and other evidence-based design features. Located between the mountains and the ocean, the site meant designers didn’t have to struggle to figure out the perfect orientation for the building to maximize its views as spectacular vistas are available in every direction.
The new naval hospital at Camp Pendleton in California is set to open in early 2014.