From U.S. Army Corp of Engineers news release March 29, 2020
— The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, (USACE), Detroit District,
announces it has received a verbal mission assignment from the Federal
Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to construct a large alternate care
facility in downtown Detroit. USACE continues to make significant
progress across the nation in its efforts to support the FEMA-led
response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic.
The first conversion in Michigan will take place at the TCF Center in Detroit, Michigan. USACE is well underway in its coordination and planning efforts to adapt more than 250,000 square feet of the convention facility into medical care space. The TCF center is well-known to Michiganders as the former Cobo Hall facility.
are proud to work hand in hand with our partners at FEMA and the state
of Michigan and leverage our engineering expertise to help save lives,”
said Lt. Col. Gregory Turner, district engineer, USACE, Detroit
The conversion will include two
separate floors, which will be segregated based on severity of illness.
When completed, the conversion will include approximately 900 bed spaces
and stations for medical personnel.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said in her announcement of the effort, “We are proud to partner with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, FEMA and the TCF Center to expand capacity in Detroit. By mobilizing quickly to construct a large alternate care facility in Detroit, we can help save lives.”
USACE, Detroit District, anticipates it
will take 24 to 36 hours to place a contract, at which point the TCF
Center team will activate their personnel to start construction
activities. Actual construction is expected to begin shortly thereafter.
USACE has received seven FEMA Mission Assignments (MAs) totaling
approximately $880 million, and USACE has more than 15,000 personnel
engaged, with more than 950 personnel deployed across the nation. Two of
the FEMA MAs are for national activation and provide initial planning
and engineering support nationwide to address possible medical facility
shortages in the U.S. due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. USACE Emergency
Operations Centers (EOCs) have been activated at 43 locations across
their divisions and districts.
across Michigan to assess and determine the necessary steps to convert
existing buildings into alternate care facilities will continue as the
state directs. USACE, Detroit District has performed 15 site visits to
date across the state.
Through the unified
national emergencies response, USACE deploys hundreds of people to
provide technical engineering expertise and promote capacity development
at home and abroad. The Corps provides management and technical
services to include: management and oversight in design, engineering and
construction; environmental restoration and management services;
research and development assistance.
USACE continues to coordinate at every level with both federal and non-federal stakeholders, including FEMA, Health and Human Services, State of Michigan, Michigan National Guard and many others.