U.S. Army Corps of Engineers awards contract to provide additional power capability to GMH

USACE led a virtual site walkthrough with contractor Hensel Phelps to discuss requirements for providing additional power capability and negative pressure rooms in Guam Memorial Hospital (GMH) rooms to meet the emergent need for increased patient capacity and care capability on Guam. Also attending the walkthrough were personnel and representatives from Naval Facilities Engineering Command -Marianas (NAVFAC Marianas) GMH Authority, GovGuam agencies (Guam Fire Department, Civil Defense, Air National Guard Engineering), and Health and Human Services. The walkthrough was live-streamed to the Honolulu District project team in Hawaii via Webex. (Photo by Lt. Col. Woodrow Pengelly)

Working in partnership with the government of Guam and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Honolulu District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) awarded a contract Sept. 18 to provide additional power capability and upgrades to rooms in Guam Memorial Hospital (GMH) to meet the emergent need for increased patient capacity and care capability in Guam.

In the fight against COVID-19, USACE is assisting with rapid Alternate Care Facility (ACF) engineering to support to public health systems. The GMH work is a follow-up to potential ACF site visits conducted earlier this year by USACE in partnership with Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC)-Marianas.

“I want the people of Guam to know that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is all in,” said Lt. Col. Eric Marshall, Honolulu District commander. “Each of us has been affected in some way by COVID-19 and we are eager to see this mission through to completion. We’ve already been working around the clock to put necessary actions in place so we can execute this work without a moment’s delay. We stand with the Guam community in their time of need and we won’t rest until we are complete.”

After FEMA issued the mission assignment to USACE, Honolulu District awarded Hensel Phelps the contract to complete electrical repairs, negative pressure upgrades on two floors of GMH, and install a temporary back-up power generator. The anticipated completion date is Oct. 18. NAVFAC Marianas personnel will provide construction management in support of USACE for this urgent solution.

“The partnership between NAVFAC Marianas, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, FEMA and the government of Guam is crucial during the island’s COVID-19 battle,” said NAVFAC Marianas Commanding Officer Capt. Tim Liberatore. “With this team of experts, we are able to provide the necessary support and vital infrastructure needed to help our community. I am proud of my entire team for their hard work and commitment in ensuring this mission is carried out successfully.”

“It is critical we continue to provide any and all resources available to our front lines. Our federal partners have been instrumental in supplementing our personal protective equipment (PPE) supply and our medical staff, and now they are helping us address overdue infrastructure needs at GMH, our COVID-designated hospital. We are thankful for this aid as we continue our work to flatten the curve, stabilize our COVID hospitalization rate, and save lives,” said Guam Governor Lou Leon Guerrero.

The government of Guam and GMH will manage the facilities once repair work of the FEMA-funded project is complete. Guam officials expect to use the facility to treat COVID-19 non-acute patients.

During emergencies, USACE is the federal government’s lead public works and engineering support agency. Given its extensive work building medical facilities for its military stakeholders, USACE is uniquely qualified to meet this engineering challenge.

USACE continues to coordinate with FEMA, the Guam Department of Public Health and Social Services, and the Government of Guam to support additional requirements.

“We’ll continue to work alongside the government of Guam and federal partners to leverage our engineering expertise and construct potentially life-saving facilities for Guam’s residents,” Marshall said. (By Dino Buchanan / U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Honolulu District)