US Army Corps of Engineers meets virtually with senators to discuss new hospital

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Lieutenant Colonel Eric Marshall, Honolulu District Commander, for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, said that his team had met with the governor's hospital task force and their intent was to help bring the vision they've been developing to fruition. (PNC photo)

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers met online with senators Tuesday to shed light on the planning process for a new hospital.

Congressman Michael San Nicolas hosted what largely amounted to an educational meeting for senators and other stakeholders to discuss the design process for the proposed new hospital complex.

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Governor Lou Leon Guerrero has made a new public hospital and an attendant medical campus one of the top priorities of her administration.

In 2019, the Army Corps of Engineers made an assessment of Guam Memorial Hospital.

It was determined that replacing GMH would be a better use of money than renovating it.

Lieutenant Colonel Eric Marshall, Honolulu District Commander, for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, said that his team had met with the governor’s hospital task force and their intent was to help bring the vision they’ve been developing to fruition.

During the meeting, Marshall explained his team’s aim to invite stakeholders into a charette for the new hospital.

Although the term was new to many in the audience, charette is an engineering term used to describe an intense period of planning and design.

Marshall said that it’s an effective way to corral stakeholders and resolve conflicting interests.

The charette would essentially identify the requirements for the hospital and create a scope of work.

As such, the charette would not create actual construction plans.

Because the purpose of the charette is to get a clear understanding of the project’s needs, there were no solid projections given.

However, it’s expected that the costs will run higher than the estimates made public in 2019 when the USACE assessed the costs of renovating and replacing GMH.

“The assessment that was done in 2019 was just to replace the existing hospital….and inter-agency facilitation,” Congressman Michael San Nicolas said.

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