Pierluisi unveils design plans for new $56M hospital in Vieques
Gov. Pedro Pierluisi unveiled the concept and timeline for what will be a new full-service hospital on the island municipality of Vieques. The cost of the project that will break ground by year’s end has an associated investment of $56 million.
The facilities will be constructed in phases starting in 2022 and finishing in 2024, he said during a news conference flanked by Vieques Mayor José Corcino, Infrastructure Financing Authority Executive Director Eduardo Rivera, Central Office of Recovery, Reconstruction and Resiliency (COR3) Executive Director Manuel Laboy, the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) disaster and recovery coordinator for Puerto Rico, José Baquero, and lawmakers Carlos Méndez and Marissa Jiménez.
“For us Viequenses, who have waited so long for this reality, today marks another firm and important step in the fight to provide our people with the health services they deserve,” Corcino said.
On April 25, the governor announced the beginning of the bidding process for the project, which firm CSA won.
“The residents of Vieques deserve a quality hospital that they can go to 24 hours a day for medical care,” Pierluisi said.
“The current hospital was built following construction standards of more than 30 years ago, so it’s more than necessary to build one based on the most recent building codes including the recommendations of the municipality, the Health Department, and experts in infrastructure and hospital design,” said Pierluisi, who at the beginning of the year authorized the disbursement of $1 million to conduct an assessment.
The only Diagnostic and Treatment Center that Vieques had was destroyed by Hurricane María in September 2017.
During the first quarter of 2022, the demolition of the current structure, the design, construction plans and site preparation will have been completed. The first phase of construction that will begin during the second quarter of next year will include the Dialysis Center, engine rooms (generators, tanks, and substation).
Meanwhile, the second phase, which will end in 2023, will include the main building, the heliport, the Emergency and Urgent Care Room, the Imaging Center, pharmacy, and laboratory.
The project will be completed in 2024 with the construction of the Ambulatory Clinic, administration offices, dental services, among others.
During the press conference, Pierluisi said that on the recommendation of expert hospital designers it was determined that demolishing the current structure was called for, because the repair would take longer, would be more expensive “and doesn’t give room for growth,” and could not be fixed in phases.
In addition, the functional circulation of patients within the facility did not comply with health codes and created a serious medical care problem for patients as there was no segregation for their respective conditions, he noted.
The new structure will have twice the functional space of the previous facility. In addition, the dialysis stations are doubled, and it will have facilities that it did not have before, such as a hyperbaric chamber and chemotherapy infusion. It will also have 12 observation beds and two isolation beds.
AFI’s Rivera said the agency “will continue to work with the sense of urgency that the governor demands of us and that this project deserves. Today we can be held accountable that the new Vieques health clinic will be a high-level one. Vieques will have a resilient structure that will provide all of the necessary services for residents and visitors.”