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FORT BELVOIR-The Department of the Army’s plans for a new $90-million facility to replace the current DeWitt Army Hospital building move forward with the recent approval of the proposal from the National Capital Planning Commission, the government’s advisor for federal land and buildings in the Metropolitan Washington region. Hospital officials plan to erect a state-of-the-art facility in place of the half-century-old building that struggles to accommodate outpatient needs of more than 150,000 armed services personnel in the area.

Located off Route 1at 9501 Farrell Road, the Dewitt medical center’s new three-level facility would offer 314,000-sf of space with a 27-bed inpatient unit, an 885-space parking garage, an aero-medical evacuation helipad, and an ambulance parking structure. The Army’s Corps of Engineers issued a solicitation last summer for architectural and engineering services for the project, so the building design is already in place. Upon signing off on the project, NCPC had one suggestion. “The Commission recommended that the Department of the Army construct a dual southbound left turn lane at the intersection of Woodlawn Rd. and Route 1 to accommodate the increased demand for this movement generated by the proposed hospital development,” commission officials wrote.

The hospital’s proposal is just one facet of an NCPC five-year capital improvement plan that calls for $200 million in construction projects in the Fort Belvoir area. Other proposals include a 3,000-sf credit union building, a 15,000-sf recreation center and a 138,000-sf addition to the Post Exchange building. For DeWitt, approval from NCPC was an essential piece of the puzzle, but hospital officials still need the thumbs up from the Department of Defense’s Defense Medical Facility Office.

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