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A five-story inpatient tower would stand as the new face of Landstuhl Regional Medical Center if funding for the estimated $391 million project is approved.

An eight-member team from the States wrapped up a seven-day visit to Landstuhl on Tuesday that fine-tuned the plan, which will be submitted to the Department of Defense’s Tricare Management Activity by late May.

If approved, the project could be the first of two proposed phases that would entirely replace the 1950s-era, spine-and-rib-configured hospital with modern towers. Officials are submitting the first phase of the project in hope of receiving funding in fiscal 2010, with construction taking three to four years.

Since 2001, Landstuhl has treated almost 47,000 wounded and sick troops from Afghanistan and Iraq. Additionally, the hospital provides health care to U.S. troops and their families in Europe and is the largest American hospital outside the U.S. Only in the past two years has air conditioning been installed in the hospital.

“I think it’s absolutely critical that we get the appropriate facility to take care of our soldiers and their family members here at Landstuhl,” said Carolyn Bulliner, a facility planner with the Army Health Facility Planning Agency. “It’s an enduring installation. The mission is enduring. We think that, with the understanding that the work we’re doing with the war and in this theater is going to continue … we’ve got a lot of interest and momentum right now to move this project forward.”

Bulliner and other team members held a series of meetings and briefings with hospital officials as part of their visit, which ended Tuesday.

The project’s first phase includes:

A five-story inpatient tower. The tower would be about 278,000 square feet and offer roughly 120 beds with room to expand in case of emergencies.

An 800-space, five-story parking structure with a helipad on top.

A connector between the parking garage and tower.

Renovations to the building that houses the hospital’s intensive care unit, operating rooms and emergency room.

Rerouting the on-post road that currently passes in front of the hospital.

Demolishing four buildings.

Construction of the inpatient tower, parking garage and connector is estimated at just under $267 million. The inpatient tower would be in front of — to the north of — the hospital building that houses the emergency room.

Replacing the outdated hospital structure has been discussed for several years, and master planning for its replacement began in the mid-1990s.

“Landstuhl is an enduring facility,” said Michael Arseneau, Europe Regional Medical Command facility director. “We’re going to be here for a long time. We need to replace the World War II-series cantonment facility. We have some problems that just can’t be fixed without a replacement.”

The project’s second phase, proposed in a future funding request, would add a five-story outpatient tower to the south of the building that now holds the emergency room and ICU.

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