SACRAMENTO, California – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers awarded a construction contract Sunday to Herman Construction Group, Inc. of Escondido, California, to retrofit the Porterville Developmental Center in Tulare County for an alternate care site in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Corps received a FEMA mission assignment last week to oversee planning, design, and construction of the Porterville project that will provide an additional 246 beds to help treat patients infected with the Coronavirus.
Construction is expected to begin this week and take approximately 14 days to complete. Once construction is complete, the site will be returned to the state to fulfill staffing and logistical requirements before patients can be admitted.
“The Corps is doing everything within our power to expedite construction of additional bed space in Tulare County for COVID-19 infected patients and to assist the state in developing opportunities for future locations throughout California,” said Col. Eric McFadden, USACE Operations Coordinator to CalOES and FEMA Region 9. “Our goal is to provide safe, clean, and functional facilities where we would want to have our own loved ones cared for.”
To date, the Corps has conducted site assessments for 26 state-identified facilities as possible locations to increase hospital space throughout California, including the Porterville location. Site assessments inform the state whether or not a facility can support the infrastructure needed for an alternate care facility.
USACE currently has more than 100 personnel supporting the State of California’s COVID-19 response, and more than 15,000 assisting states and territories nationwide. During emergencies, USACE is the lead federal agency to FEMA for public works and engineering support.
Release no. 20-011