St. Francis Medical Center in Trenton is one of three New Jersey medical facilities whose capacities are being expanded by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Philadelphia District as part of the ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Construction to convert portions of St. Francis Medical Center into a 37-bed facility began Tuesday after a contract was awarded Monday to Sand Point Services LLC.
“Hospital capacity everywhere is a major concern as the COVID-19 crisis rages on, and these additional beds will greatly benefit Mercer County and the region,” County Executive Brian Hughes said. “We thank the Army Corps, FEMA and the state of New Jersey for planning and coordinating this project.”
According to Mercer County officials, USACE Philadelphia District is providing planning, engineering, contracting and construction management support to the state and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to address possible medical facility shortages due to COVID-19. The mission is part of a nationwide federal, state and local effort to respond to the public health emergency.
The USACE Philadelphia District also awarded contracts to East Orange General Hospital in East Orange to convert currently unused hospital space into a 250-bed facility and to Bergen New Bridge Medical Center in Paramus to convert the hospital’s gymnasium into a 30-bed facility, and to construct a 100-bed medical tent in one section of the hospital parking lot. Construction on those projects began between April 9 and April 15.
In late March, the USACE Philadelphia District formed teams and began conducting facility assessments in close coordination with the New Jersey State Police and the New Jersey Department of Public Health. USACE provides the state with the assessments, which contain information on the possible conversion of existing buildings into alternate care facilities.
The USACE Philadelphia District has also provided engineering support related to the installation of Field Medical Stations at the Meadowlands Convention Center in Secaucus, the New Jersey Convention Center in Edison and the Atlantic City Convention Center.