The Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center held a ceremony dedicating its Central Utility Plant after the late Jeffrey W. Bodkin June 2.
Bodkin worked for almost 12 years as a project manager and contracting officer representative in the facility management division of CRDAMC before medically retiring in 2019 and passing away in 2021.
“This is so special and I think it is a great way to honor my dad, who genuinely loved this place, said Raven Watson”, Bodkin’s oldest daughter. “He loved his job, loved working here and was so proud of it and so for his name to be on it I think it’s perfect.”
Bodkin was the project manager for the new hospital construction from concept to construction complete in 2016 and played a key role in successfully constructing and outfitting CRDAMC and the 44,048 square-foot central utility plant designed to bring life to the 1.67 Million square-foot medical center, providing emergency power, heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning, utility electrical power, and high-pressure steam.
“Despite facing debilitating illness, Jeff routinely donned safety gear and slogged through the mud and dirt of the construction site to accomplish inspection after inspection enabling clinicians to occupy the hospital on time,” said Lt. Col. Jeffery Blackwell, deputy commander administration, CRDAMC.
The heart of the Jeffrey W. Bodkin Central Utility Plant (JWBCUP) is the control room, where plant operators monitor all critical systems, including fire alarm, medical gas, room temperatures and humidity, and water pressure. This room is equipped with a Building Automation System (BAS) with ability to effect environmental changes in the hospital and many of our 53 healthcare, dental, veterinary and medical administrative facilities on Fort Hood.
“He managed the operations maintenance contract, and made sure that they got trained on how to use the systems in this building so that we would be prepared to take care of it,” said Lisa Cuellar, chief, facility management division, CRDAMC.
She went on to say that he always wanted to help and that the JWBCUP staff shared a story that he would call at 5 a.m., each morning, well before his shift started at 7:30 a.m., and ask about there any problems or issues that he need to work on.
“Every day he was over here, because this is the heart of the hospital, so it was critical that everything was working,” said Cuellar.
The building is equipped with four 2000-kW diesel-fueled power generators w/ two 35,000-gallon diesel fuel tanks, fifteen automatic transfer switches, four chillers + a Heat Exchanger, and four boilers with capacity for 5.
“My dad loved this place, before it opened he gave me a tour and I was like yeah, generators, really exciting, and he told me so many details that I don’t remember at all. He knew the ends and outs of it,” said Watson. “It’s just really special, and I’m the kind of person who always wants to figure out why a building is named after someone. Why did they have a building named after them, so I love it, because 20 years from now someone will see it and say who the heck is Jeff Bodkin and his memory will be remembered and continue here.”