USVI National Guard COVID-19 Alternate Care Facility

St. Croix, US Virgin Islands

Conti Federal retrofitted the Barracks Wing of the U.S. Virgin Islands National Guard’s Regional Training Institute into an Alternate Care Facility for acute COVID-19 patients.

The retrofit provided facilities to serve up to 24 Acute COVID-19 patients, with associated patient isolation, infection control, and fire protection and life safety. The RTI (Regional Training Institute) facility itself, where Conti Federal was previously working on multiple upgrades and renovations, includes a classroom and administrative building and the attached two-story barracks. The retrofit converted each floor of the barracks to house 12 beds, a lounge, and nurses’ station. The Conti Federal team’s scope included facility repairs and upgrades, architectural modifications, MEP system upgrades, and broadband communications systems.The retrofit provided facilities to serve up to 24 Acute COVID-19 patients, with associated patient isolation, infection control, and fire protection and life safety. The RTI facility itself, where Conti Federal was previously working on multiple upgrades and renovations, includes a classroom and administrative building and the attached two-story barracks. The retrofit converted each floor of the barracks to house 12 beds, a lounge, and nurses’ station. The Conti Federal team’s scope included facility repairs and upgrades, architectural modifications, MEP system upgrades, and broadband communications systems.

Given the emergency nature of the project, the team operated under a demanding schedule. Conti Federal understood that to complete the project on-time and to the level of quality USACE required would require flexibility, transparency, and dedication among the entire team. To ensure these qualities were embodied by the team, Conti Federal flew in key management team members from the company’s New Jersey headquarters as well as several key laborers. This approach made certain the team operated at the speed needed to complete the project on-time, that the attitude on-site was focused on progress and solutions, and that Conti Federal’s work was in lockstep with USACE’s mission.

In addition, Conti Federal instilled a culture of urgency across the entire team. For example, when the team required fire and life safety inspections, they discovered local offices were closed due to the COVID-19 shutdown. Conti Federal located the necessary inspector at his home, explained the criticality of the situation, and brought him directly to the site. This focus on real-time solutions resulted in a job completed as specified and on schedule.

Conti Federal conducted the entire project while following strict COVID-19 prevention protocols. Conti developed a specific COVID-19 protection plan that emphasized on-site behaviors, equipment, processes, and the environment. The project AHA included such prevention measures as crew size and separation, specialized PPE (face masks, nitrile gloves, etc.), and proper tool and material storage and cleaning. In the event of a confirmed COVID-19 case on-site, Conti Federal established a clear protocol to contain exposure. The team also followed the specific COVID-19 protocols of the St. Croix Department of Health, which was invited to check on the team on-site. Combined, these measures kept our work site healthy and safe.

Several critical materials, equipment, and supplies were needed to build the ACF that were unavailable on St. Croix or any nearby island or territory. Conti Federal arranged an airlift for these materials from New Jersey to complete the fast-track project on-schedule. This effort also included procuring specialty items, such as a potable water system, which were manufactured to order, often within 24 hours.

Engineering News-Record awarded this project the Best Healthcare Project of 2021 in the Southeast region.

Project details

Client USACE Savannah
Value $7.4M
Status Completed
Key features
  • Installed a new temporary generator, fire jockey pump, fire alarm, cistern water supply, chillers, and exterior lighting
  • Significant mechanical, electrical, and plumbing system upgrades
  • Connected the RTI’s existing broadband system into the regional health center for health record accessibility
  • Installed a nurse call tone visual system at each patient bed and in bathrooms

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