"Today we are here to plant the seed of growth at Evans. This Soldier Family Care Center will be a truly visible sign of the medical and dental capability growth that began some time ago," said Col. Kelly A. Wolgast, commander of Evans Army Community Hospital, at a groundbreaking ceremony Oct. 31.

According to Wolgast, the new tri-level facility will greatly expand the hospital's ability to treat the influx of Soldiers and their Family members as the remaining portion of the 4th Infantry Division, the "Grow the Army" brigade and other smaller units positioned to be stationed at Fort Carson.

"These efforts are part of a long-term strategic plan to provide the medical and dental space needed to care for the number of Soldiers and their Families at Fort Carson," she said.

Capt. Scott Anderson, adjutant of EACH, explained that the growth of the hospital is a direct result of the Base Realignment and Closure Commission recommendations that Fort Carson expand. The 4th ID, headquartered at Fort Hood, Texas, and currently deployed to Iraq, will return completely to Fort Carson in the next year. The division was previously stationed at Fort Carson from 1970-1995 and the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Brigade Combat Teams are already home stationed here.

He said that the hospital is currently 514,820 square feet and the new facility will add 153,000 square feet. There will be physical therapy, occupational therapy, family medicine, podiatry and pediatrics clinics as well as offices for social work services.

Kiewit Building Group of Englewood, Colo., is the lead on the design-build team contracted to construct the facility, which should be done in approximately two years. According to A.J. Klebba III, vice president for Healthcare Service of Kiewit, said that the company has a long-standing affiliation with Fort Carson, having constructed many of the buildings in the 1940s when the installation was still Camp Carson.

Brig. Gen. James K. Gilman, commander of the US Army Great Plains Region Medical Command, stressed the importance of caring for Soldiers and that this expansion is typical for Army hospitals around the world. He noted that in the last several years that Army hospitals had fallen under public scrutiny and expansions like this was one way that the Army could ensure all Soldiers would be well taken care of.

"Outstanding facilities support outstanding health care," said Wolgast. "We will embrace this building and transform it into an environment for healing."