TULSA DISTRICT SUPPORTS OKLAHOMA COVID-19 RESPONSE
U.S. ARMY PHOTO BY PRESTON L. CHASTEEN
BY PRESTON L . CHASTEEN, Tulsa District
he U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Tulsa District assembled field assessment teams tasked with evaluating 29 existing sites for possible conversion into alternate care facilities (ACFs) in Oklahoma. The district’s teams, working on Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) mission assignments requested by the state of Oklahoma, evaluated facilities all across the state. After the assessments of 25 arenas and four hotel-style structures, Tulsa District engineering teams executed the planning, assessment, design, and construction missions supporting the state’s requests for three ACFs. “We were able to utilize a contracting tool that facilitated the rapid mobilization of the contractor within two days and worked 24-hour-a-day operations to complete the hospital [COVID-19] room conversions within two weeks or less construction time. This
USACE’s Tulsa District alternate care facility site assessment team members assess a facility during a site visit on March 28, 2020. The district assembled field assessment teams tasked with evaluating existing sites for possible conversion into alternate care facilities in Oklahoma. USACE is the federal government’s lead public works and engineering support agency and, given its extensive work in building medical facilities for its military stakeholders, is uniquely qualified to tackle this engineering challenge.
provided a surge capacity across the state to ensure needs are met should an outbreak occur that would overwhelm the local hospitals’ capabilities. Our dedicated team, though tired, were able to meet the mission on time,” stated Tulsa District Program Manager Patrick Beard. In all, room for 243 additional hospital beds was made available for COVID-19 treatment at three separate locations in the state.