Safety first at Ireland Medical Clinic project

Published June 15, 2018
It has been six months since dirt turned on the Ireland Army Health Clinic Replacement Facility Project at Fort Knox, Kentucky and the structure—now nearly 20 percent complete—has been built with zero lost-time accidents.  

Safety has been paramount to USACE and its construction contractor, Mortenson Construction Company, out of Minneapolis, Minnesota, who made sure to pause for a focus on safety during this year’s National Safety Week held May 7-11, 2018. Safety week is a national initiative where more than 80 companies and thousands of workers join together with the goal of keeping each other safe.

“In participating in safety week it gives everyone an extra opportunity to focus on safety and to reward our craft workers on this project where we are now 180 days in without an injury,” said Darl Flake, Mortenson Project Manager. “We’re not taking any risks.” 

Mortenson Construction Company hosted a safety lunch May 10 for approximately 50 workers on site and additional events were held throughout the week including safety trivia, safety videos, and safety demonstrations from vendors on tools and equipment. They asked workers to post reminders on a bulletin board of ‘why they work safe’ and hosted a coloring contest to involve their families.

“Safety is a family thing; it affects everyone,” said Flake.

Carl Lindsay, lead construction representative for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer’s Fort Knox Resident Office, emphasized his appreciation for the contractor’s focus on safety. 

“They have an exemplary safety program,” said Lindsay. “They are a robust, healthy partner to the Corps of Engineers for this project that we are building in support of the community.” 

The new $80 million clinic will provide the Fort Knox community with a state-of-the-art facility to provide patient and family centered care to its patients. The medical clinic replacement facility will include primary and specialty care, behavioral health, ancillary services and administrative support activities. 
The two-story, 101,373 square-foot facility is twenty percent complete overall with the steel beam structure now complete and some plumbing and electrical work already underway. During the month of June the construction crew will focus on roofing and exterior framing.

“The project is ahead of scheduled,” said Ken Jaggers, USACE construction representative for the project. “They have changed the schedule to push forward and get us to this point.” 

The clinic is scheduled to open to patients in 2020 after which the existing Ireland Army Community Hospital, which serves the present Fort Knox community, will be demolished.

“We are honored to be a part of this to help bring a state-of-the-art medical facility to this base and replace one of the oldest active hospitals the Army had in operations,” said Jaggers.