MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune’s quarterdeck, a gateway for more than 120,000 patients of the hospital, has reopened after six months of construction with a ribbon cutting Aug. 6.
The quarterdeck’s completion joins a host of new construction throughout Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune and marks the first major feat in the hospital’s renovation efforts noticeable to its visitors.
“I’m told the lobby was too small, it was dark and it looked rather rustic,” said Capt. David A. Lane, the commanding officer of Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune, on NHCL’s Facebook page.” I think our quarterdeck may have been emblematic of our hospital when it was new, designed and built to support a smaller population than we have now and intended for medical services and practices of the 1980s.”
The project included the quarterdeck, lobby, the former pharmacy waiting area and the admissions office. The staircase was moved to the rear of the lobby and the atrium was replaced with a larger waiting area with modern décor. The information desk was renovated along with the second floor bathrooms. The tiles were replaced and new furniture was installed.
“The new quarterdeck is bright and expansive,” said Lane. “It feels modern, welcoming and completely in sync with how we practice medicine in 2012 and beyond. The newfound roominess is proportional to the expansion we’ve seen in our clinical services in response to the increased demand by our Marine Corps shipmates.”
Jesse Mitchell, an information specialist with NHCL who works at the information desk, said the new lobby is a welcomed change.
“It’s wonderful,” said Mitchell. “It really sets the presence of the hospital. It’s professional and it shows how we’ve expanded to accommodate the needs of the hospital. It shows we’re in a new age.”
Although it didn’t affect the availability of care at the hospital, throughout the construction a large section of it was closed. The NHCL staff and signs posted throughout the hospital helped guide guests around restricted areas.
“We did our best to accommodate our patrons,” said Mitchell.
The quarterdeck and lobby’s construction leads the overall renovations of the hospital. New facilities, clinics, and hospital services are being brought to NHCL along with internal renovations and expansions to each wing of the hospital.
The quarterdeck and lobby are simply the beginning of new things to come for patrons of NHCL.