Fort Hood Completes New Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center - 12 News KBMT and K-JAC. News, Weather and Sports for SE Texas

Fort Hood Completes New Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center

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(KCEN) -- Fort Hood has completed the structural framework of the new Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center.

And to commemorate this phase of construction, there was a "topping out" ceremony at the worksite.

"Topping out" a new building is when a tree or in this case, a beam is placed on top of the structure to make the spirits of the ancestors that have been displaced, happy.

Everyone involved in the making of the new hospital signed the beam before it was lifted.

The new 950,000 square foot hospital will hold about 150 beds.

And it's twice the size of the emergency department at the current Darnell Medical Center.

Col. Roger Gallup says, "This is really a replacement. Our previous hospital was almost 50 years old and it's really updating, most of the hospitals are usually changed over about every 20 years so this is really to make sure that our community has the best to offer for our soldiers and their families."

The new medical center will have special units for intensive care and neonatal intensive care.

Rising behavioral health concerns will also be a major undertaking for the hospital, but it's only 40 percent complete.

Fort Hood expects construction to end in the late summer of 2015.

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