Work begins on alternative care facility at State Fair Park

Gilbane Federal awarded $10 million contract

Wisconsin State Fair Park
Wisconsin State Fair Park.

Last updated on April 10th, 2020 at 01:03 pm

The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers has begun developing an alternative care facility on the Wisconsin State Fair Park grounds in West Allis to care for COVID-19 patients, Gov. Tony Evers announced Thursday. 

The makeshift hospital will be built at the Exposition Center to provide beds for COVID-19 patients in an effort to ease demand on local health care systems caring for high-acuity patients in need of hospitalization. 

The Army Corp of Engineers has awarded a $10 million contract to Gilbane Federal to build the facility. Gilbane was the sole bidder on the project, according to a notice from the U.S. Department of Defense. 

Several local subcontractors will also assist on the project, including HGA, Johnson Controls, Staff Electric, F. Ahern and Hetzel Sanfillipo. 

Based on similar structures built in other states, it takes about one to two weeks for the alternative care facilities to be constructed. 

The project is estimated to be completed on April 24, according to the Department of Defense notice. Some models indicate Wisconsin is expected to see its peak of hospital utilization due to COVID-19 on April 17. 

Funding for construction will come from the federal and state government. 

“We are extremely appreciative of FEMA and the Army Corp of Engineers for their responsiveness as we continue to see an increase in the number of individuals testing positive for COVID-19 in Wisconsin,” Evers said. “This alternative care facility will be a critical addition to the southeastern region of our state and will be essential to continuing to ensure our health care systems are not overwhelmed.”

Health officials have not yet released details regarding patient capacity or the number of health care workers that will staff the alternative care facility. 

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