Sheet Metal Workers Local 17 member Dan Morency cuts filtration material to fit the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center's air circulation system to prevent the spread of COVID-19. during the week of April 6. 2020. Photo courtesy of Sheet Metal Workers Local 17

Workers from several local construction unions and firms came together last week to help convert the cavernous Boston Convention & Exhibition Center into a 1,000-bed field hospital in just three days.

The facility, to be called Boston Hope Hospital, opened at the end of last week to house patients diagnosed with COVID-19 but who need hospitalization but whose conditions are not severe enough to need a bed in a ordinary hospital’s intensive care unit. A similar, 250-bed hospital was also built in Worcester’s DCU Center last week.

Workers from Suffolk Construction, J.C. Cannistraro, Sheet Metal Workers Local 17, Teamsters Local 25 and others worked around the clock to adapt the convention center, with Local 17 members adapting the building’s air system and Local 25’s members building cubicles that will house individual patients.

“Sheet Metal Workers Local 17 went above and beyond what’s expected of them,” Ray Martin, project manager at J.C. Cannistraro, said in a statement. “This isn’t part of their normal job. They did it for the people that are sick.”

“We’re proud to stand with our neighbors and communities during these tough times,” Local 17 Business Manager Bob Butler said in a statement. “We will continue to help expand our healthcare capacity, so everyone can get the care they need.”

Cubicles for COVID-19 patients sit in an convention hall at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center on April 10, 2020. Photo courtesy of Sheet Metal Workers Local 17

Construction Unions, Firms Help Convert BCEC into Field Hospital

by Banker & Tradesman time to read: 1 min