Graham Kilmer

Construction Starting Soon On State Fair Park Care Facility

Army Corps of Engineers already mobilizing at State Fair Park.

By - Apr 9th, 2020 01:25 pm
Hospital bed being setup in McCormick Place. U.S. Air Force Photo by Senior Airman Jay Grabiec

Hospital bed being setup in McCormick Place. U.S. Air Force Photo by Senior Airman Jay Grabiec

The Army Corps of Engineers will soon start construction of an alternative care facility at the Wisconsin State Fair Park Exposition Center, to increase healthcare capacity for the coming surge in cases of COVID-19 that local officials expect to hit Milwaukee sometime near the end of this month.

Gov. Tony Evers announced Thursday that the corps is already mobilizing at the exposition center “to begin development of an alternative care facility.”

For weeks, local officials have been scouting possible locations for alternative care facilities, which will act as overflow for mild cases of COVID-19 during a surge that may swamp existing hospital capacity. It was announced in early April that the State Fair Park Exposition Center could become a care facility with up to 1,200 beds.

Evers thanked FEMA and the Army Corp of Engineers for responding to their request for a facility, saying it will be a “critical addition to the southeastern region of our state and will be essential to continuing to ensure our healthcare systems are not overwhelmed.”

The army corps will partner with a number of local firms to build out the site. HGA, Johnson Controls, Staff Electric, JF Ahern and Hetzel Sanfilipo are partnering on the project.

Dr. Ben Weston, director of Medical Services for Milwaukee County, previously said the facility is “an optimal location for this space considering the ease of access, abundant parking, central location to a variety of resources.” Looking at hospital systems around the world that have already dealt with COVID-19 surges, Weston said it is clear that “even the largest and most efficient hospital systems” likely will eventually need additional capacity to respond to the disease.

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Categories: Health, Real Estate

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