A massive project at Camp Pendleton aimed at helping military families is ahead of schedule.
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Considered the largest construction project the Navy has under the Recovery Act, the new $450 million project to replace the current hospital at Camp Pendleton is 37 days ahead of schedule, as one-third of the 70-acre project has been completed.
The current hospital was built in 1974.
"This will be an iconic project that will be the gateway to San Diego for anyone heading to San Diego on Interstate 5," said Cmdr. Whitley Robinson with the Naval Facilities Engineering Command.
"Patient care has changed dramatically since then and this new hospital reflects that," said Lt.Cmdr. Steve Padhi, also with the Naval Engineering Command.
One way the new facility reflects change is in the design, which features open spaces for natural light and includes a central atrium.
Additionally, there will also be a reflection and meditation area that features a wall inscribed with the names of Medal of Honor recipients.
Two key features were the result of extensive surveys before the project broke ground in 2010, which found that patients wanted more parking and a larger pharmacy.
The parking structure just north of the project will double the amount of spaces currently available and a new pharmacy will not only be larger to reduce wait times but prescriptions will be filled robotically.
The new hospital is expected to open by 2014.
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