FORT WORTH — Construction of the new 947,000-square-foot Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center is well under way.

The new facility will be about 60 percent larger than the existing 45-year-old medical center. The Army is expected to be able to occupy the hospital the summer of 2014, with operations starting one year later.

“Military construction requires the cooperation and coordination of many agencies such as the U.S. Army Medical Command, U.S. Army Health Facility Planning Agency, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Installation Management Command, and III Corps and Fort Hood,” said Col. Charles Klinge, commander of the Army Corps of Engineers’ Fort Worth District.

A $540 million contract to design and build the new facility was awarded in September 2010 to Balfour Beatty/McCarthy Joint Venture of Dallas. It was the largest Defense Department contract financed with American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds.

Ongoing construction, which began in the summer of 2011, is accomplished using a design-build acquisition strategy in which a single firm coordinates the design and construction. The Fort Worth District has been overseeing the progress of the project along with its Fort Hood counterparts.

“A lot of detail goes into the schedule to synchronize our efforts and involves prioritizing efforts and ensuring the pieces to the puzzle get put together in a logical order in addition to anticipating the amount of time it takes to complete each task,” said Capt. Cassidy W. Eaves, operations officer for the district’s hospital program.

More space

The new facility addresses Fort Hood’s most pressing medical needs, which include the areas of behavioral health, specialty clinics and pediatric primary care.

The medical center is about 25 percent complete, said Richard Alexander, the Fort Hood hospital construction manager.

About 66,000 square feet of the new center is dedicated to behavioral health services. This area, located on the third floor, will include an outpatient component, a Resilience and Restoration Center, Department of Social Work, and Hospital and Administrative Psychiatry. It will be connected through the concourse to the in-patient component of the psychiatric unit, which will also feature an exterior basketball court.

The fourth floor of the new medical center will be devoted to women’s services. It will include nine labor-delivery-recovery rooms, two C-section units, a 12-bed neonatal intensive care unit and a 28-bed mother baby unit.

The new pharmacy will be nearly 13,000 square feet, with 13 dispensing windows and a satellite pharmacy in the pediatrics clinic. It will incorporate state-of-the-art automation that decreases the potential for medication errors while increasing the efficiency of pharmacy operations.

“This facility was designed with flexibility in mind, so as health care needs change, so can Darnall,” Alexander said. “The design allows flexibility and adaptability to accommodate the changing needs of clinics and departments and, in the future, there is room for lateral growth and an additional bed tower, if needed.”

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