The Interagency and International Support (IIS) program provides technical assistance to non-Department of Defense federal agencies on a reimbursable basis. Types of services the Corps can provide these customers include engineering and construction services, environmental restoration and management services, and research and development assistance across the nation. This fiscal year, the Charleston District’s IIS program obligated nearly $120 million to support 90 projects.
One of the District’s IIS’ customers is the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and the Charleston District had the privilege of helping the VA recently with the relocation of their intensive care unit (ICU), which houses veterans that are the most critically injured or ill, at the William Jennings Bryan Dorn VAMC in Columbia, SC.
The process of the ICU relocation project was unique for the Charleston District; the District’s role was to negotiate pricing, process payments, and write and submit modifications to the contractor. However the District did not oversee the day-to-day operations. The VAMC’s project managers were responsible for ensuring that the daily tasks were completed. Once an item was completed, the VAMC would notify the Corps and the Corps would pay the contractor. To ensure the success of this project, the VAMC and the Corps met weekly and communicated often.
“It was a partnership unlike any other that the District has done, because typically the Corps oversees the day-to-day items of a project,” said Shawn Boone, project manager for the ICU relocation project. “But the VAMC and the Corps worked well together to ensure this critical project was successful.”
The project was a necessity for the VAMC as the old ICU was built in late 1970’s. The new ICU has individual rooms and glass windows that frost with the flick of a switch that provide privacy instead of thin fabric curtains. To add a homey feel to the waiting room, the new ICU boasts a fireplace, kitchen and place to rest for families. Aside from the vast improvement in appearance, the new ICU has the latest technology and is much more efficient. The new ICU provides the comfort and care that our veterans and their families deserve.
“The VA is extremely satisfied with the outcome of this project,” said Art Olson, professional engineer with the VAMC. “It was done much quicker than if the VA had done it themselves and was completed on time.”
Construction for this $5.8 million 17,000 sq. ft. project began in December 2010 and will be completed in November 2012. The Corps is proud to have assisted with a project that gives our veterans the best medical treatment.