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A new Navy hospital will be built in Agana Heights, the current location of the 54-year-old U.S. Naval Hospital Guam, Navy officials announced recently.

The new hospital will be able to serve the influx of military on the island in coming years as 8,000 Marines plus their families and DOD civilians are to move from Okinawa to Guam by 2014, according to the Navy.

Specific details about the facility’s estimated cost, size and scope of services have yet to be determined, according to Lt. j.g. Thomas Buck, a Navy spokesman. He said requests for proposals will be sought after September when the 2009 fiscal year begins.

Two years ago, the commander at the hospital at the time estimated a new facility would cost about $300 million.

The Navy has planned for years to replace the aging and inefficient facility. The 10-wing building’s mammoth hallways and high ceilings cost too much to cool and create long pathways between units that should be side by side, such as operating and recovery rooms, official say.

Those building plans were put on hold as the military made plans to bolster its forces on Guam. Currently, there are about 14,000 military and family members on the island; the buildup will add an estimated 40,000.

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