Shuttered Hospital transformed into Covid-19 Alternate Care Facility

Shuttered Hospital transformed into Covid-19 Alternate Care Facility

Jason Whitman /

Clark Construction Group collaborated with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to successfully transform a shuttered hospital south of Chicago, the MetroSouth Medical Center, into an Alternate Care Facility (ACF) to treat Covid-19 patients. The ACF will provide 585 surge beds, including 265 high acuity beds, to support critically ill patients. The joint venture helped deliver the project in just 22 days.

For more than a century, the MetroSouth Medical Center served the Blue Island community before closing in late 2019. A design-build team was led by Clark. The team had revitalized the once dormant facility into a fully operational ACF. They converted spaces like the emergency department, labor, and delivery, as well as hospital office space, into patient bed areas. The team also turned existing patient rooms with negative pressure units to meet air change and infection control requirements, as well as reactivated medical gas systems to support patients who require ventilators.

They also ensured that all 26 essential hospital systems were inspected, repaired, or replaced, and fully operational. The MetroSouth ACF project team also includes architect Perkins and Will, MEP engineer Salas O’Brien, as well as Hill Mechanical, Titan Electric, RG Construction, and Consolidated Flooring.

About three dozen personnel, along with design partners and more than 200 craftworkers, worked day and night to meet the ambitious timeline, according to Clark’s statement. Clark and his team, despite the challenging schedule, managed to maintain the safety protocols of the pandemic. Clark had received a Certificate of Occupancy on April 21, four days ahead of schedule. The state officials received the project on April 23.

The collaboration on site has been like nothing I have seen in 26 years of military service,” said Col. Aaron W. Reisinger, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Chicago District. “Everyone worked hand-in-hand to overcome challenges that otherwise would have taken weeks, if not months, to solve. This project brought out the best of humanity at all levels.”

Guest Writer

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