Landstuhl facilities undergo renovation

Spc. Todd Goodman
Landstuhl Regional Medical Center

***image1***Doctors and nurses at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center are not the only ones who have seen their workloads skyrocket since the war efforts began in Iraq. The facilities management team has made many changes to accommodate the influx of patients.
Administrative offices were relocated to portable buildings so the space could be used for the wounded. More than 100 portable buildings were leased to free up space within the facility. Beds increased nearly three-fold. And all the while, ongoing projects kept on going.
Nearly 80 of those portable buildings went to enlarge the LRMC Deployed Warrior Medical Management Center, which has grown significantly since the war efforts began in Iraq.
“There’s no doubt about it, it’s been a challenge for us,” said Chief Warrant Officer 4 Michael Arseneau, Chief of Facilities Management at LRMC. “We had to adjust time schedules and phasing of projects to make sure we didn’t interfere with patient care.”
In addition to increasing the bed count from 120 to 300, the facilities team had to take additional care when completing risk assessments of each project. Seemingly insignificant things like dust in the hallways are a potential hazard to patients who began occupying rooms and wings that had previously been for administrative use.
“Normal things take on new difficulties when you get as many patients as we had during the height of the Iraqi operations,” said Chief Warrant Officer Arseneau.
Throughout the war efforts, no construction contracts were cancelled and normal maintenance and repair projects continued.
Phase one of the dining facility was recently completed. The 50-year-old heating and ventilation system was replaced and the entire ceiling over the kitchen was removed. During this time, meals were prepared in the parking lot, where a temporary kitchen was established.
Phase two, which will replace the air-handling system over the dining room and service area, will begin this month.
During this time, patrons will eat their meals in the parking lot in a large, heated festival tent with a wooden floor. Total cost for the project is $774,000. Another ongoing project is a $1.4 million addition to the eye center. When finished, optometry and ophthalmology will have their own wing, with a large, centrally located waiting room to share.
“We used to have patients waiting out in the hallway,” Chief Warrant Officer Arseneau said.
Wing 15 of Bldg. 3766 is being renovated so the audiology clinic can move there in July. The clinic has been operating out of the Troop Command building, 400 meters from the hospital.
“Getting the audiology clinic back into the hospital will prevent people who are getting a physical from having to leave the hospital to try to find the other building,” said Chief Warrant Officer Arseneau.
There are about 45 ongoing projects, many of which will be finished this summer. From installing new hallway light fixtures to replacing old sewer lines, facilities management is keeping LRMC fit to serve.