By Brooks Hubbard
Los Angeles District
BARSTOW, Calif. — The Barstow Area Chamber of Commerce, along with officials from the National Training Center and Fort Irwin, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles District, held a day-long industry meet and greet and project overview for the Fort Irwin Replacement Hospital here Jan. 18.
A solicitation notice for the $270 million project was issued on Dec. 23, 2011, and offerors have until Feb. 14 to submit their proposals.
The event was held at the Cora Harper Fitness Center and was attended by more than 240 area contractors. Officials from the Corps and the Fort Irwin community provided a general overview of the project and site tour for the new facility.
"With the downturn in the housing market, we had a lot of contractors find themselves unemployed," said Carol Randall, Economic Chairperson for the Barstow Chamber of Commerce.
"With this event, this project gives a chance to workers to come back to work as well as create jobs for those who haven't been working," said Randall.
The new 216,000 square foot facility will replace the current 40-year-old hospital. When completed, the facility is designed to achieve a LEED platinum rating, the first hospital in the Army to achieve this prestigious rating. The groundbreaking for the new facility is scheduled for early summer.
Col. Michael Kiefer, Fort Irwin's Medical Department Activity commander welcomed the opportunity to meet with potential contractors and talk to them about the new hospital.
"The new hospital is going to replace the old facility and other post medical facilities that we currently have in our inventory," said Kiefer. "It's going to centralize all post health services in one location."
The replacement hospital is the first facility of several large scale construction projects at the fort that the Corps is managing. That translates to jobs and an economic boost to the surrounding communities.
Col. Mark Toy, commander of the Corps' Los Angeles activities for servicemembers and their families as well as a large rotating training force that deploys to the Mojave Desert base.
After the presentation, contractors mingled and discussed possible partnerships and job possibilities for the project. Offerors then proceeded to the project site where they were allowed to walk the area.
The presolicitation number W912PL-12-R-0008, was posted to the Federal Business Opportunities website (Fedbizops.gov). Further instructions and project information will be posted to the site for review.