Guantanamo Construction Projects Total $500M

Despite the Obama Administration’s rejection of the proposed plan (it saw the project as unnecessary since it planned to close Guantanamo), Trump’s Department of Defense and Congress supported it.

📅   Wed August 23, 2017 - National Edition
Emily Buenzle


In a statement, the Defense Health Agency said it's looking to replace the current 12-bed hospital, which has been renovated many times since it was built in 1956. One goal for the new building is for it to withstand earthquakes that occur throughout the area.
In a statement, the Defense Health Agency said it's looking to replace the current 12-bed hospital, which has been renovated many times since it was built in 1956. One goal for the new building is for it to withstand earthquakes that occur throughout the area.

The Trump Administration plans to spend almost $500 million in construction at Guantanamo.

The Miami Herald reported that projects will include:

  • $250 million to build a Navy-requested, five-bed hospital;
  • $124 million to build new Army barracks for 848 prison troops, which need to be complete in 2021; and
  • $100 million for the Pentagon to build a skeletal structure to house a migrant tent city, as well as housing for 5,000 U.S. troops.
  • Not So Fast

    In response to the high cost of the replacement hospital, which it noted would cost “$50 million per bed” to build, the Senate Armed Services Committee has asked that Defense Secretary James Mattis conduct a “comprehensive study” to propose that the Pentagon run numbers on the cost of sending families to distant locations such as Guantanamo.

    In a statement, the Defense Health Agency said it's looking to replace the current 12-bed hospital, which has been renovated many times since it was built in 1956. One goal for the new building is for it to withstand earthquakes that occur throughout the area. The hospital serves between 3,200 and 5,500 people on the base who use TriCare, the Pentagon's healthcare system.

    In addition, the hospital occasionally cares for the 41 war-on-terror prisoners and the 1,500 troops who work at the Detention Center, although they do have a clinic of their own to use. Construction is currently in progress for a new $8.4 million clinic for the prisoners.

    The Army's proposed barracks would put troops into two dormitory-esque buildings far away from the Detention Center. Despite the Obama Administration's rejection of the proposed plan (it saw the project as unnecessary since it planned to close Guantanamo), Trump's Department of Defense and Congress have supported it. Provided it secures funds from Congress sometime in the near future, the barracks should be completed by 2021, the Miami Herald reported.

    The Migrant Camp

    A little history about the migrant camp's site:

  • In 2007, the Bush Administration spent $17 million to prepare a site on the base for pop-up tent cities that could house 30,000 migrants.
  • During that time, Florida contractor Islands Mechanical leveled the fields, constructed cement block bath houses and set up sewage treatment capacity.
  • In addition, the Navy contributed $6 million for a firm to check the space for unexploded explosives from old firing ranges close by.
  • At this time, the Navy is accepting site bids for demolition, and building concrete slabs for kitchen areas, dumpsters and a headquarters building. In addition, there are plans to build a public-address system on top of utility poles, the Miami Herald reported.

    Congress already allocated $33 million in funds for the project in its 2017 budget. Although the Navy did say it was in charge of the bidding process, it did not address why it needed the additional $67 million.