Fort Irwin & the National Training Center, a major training area for the US Military, is set to build a new $400m hospital to replace the 40-year-old existing facility.

The new hospital will feature an updated design and conform to California seismic regulations.Construction of the 216,000ft2 project is expected to begin in June 2012 and be complete by 2015, according to officials.

It will combine tertiary care, emergency medicine and clinical support activities in one building and is expected to have the same capacity and offer similar services as the former facility, reports the Daily Press. The renovation of the existing Mary Walker Clinic is also planned as part of the development.

The Daily Press quoted Fort Irwin medical department activity commander Michael Kiefer as saying a new hospital is needed because the base is so far from the Barstow facility.

"All of the equipmemt, all the actual design of the building, were designed with patient in mind," he said. "It’s a significant improvement and upgrade for the community."

A team of engineers have been developing the facility’s design for about a year and a half, after the Department of Defense approved the request for the proposal.

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The hospital is likely to be the first in the DOD to earn the distinction of being leadership in energy and environmental design certified platinum, with LEED certification.