Preparation begins to turn Suburban Collection Showplace into COVID-19 field hospital

Tuesday marked the first day of preparations to turn the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi into a field hospital for COVID-19 patients.

The second-largest convention center in Metro Detroit is known for boat shows, the Motor City Comic Con, and the Michigan State Fair. Now, add a coronavirus alternative care facility to the list.

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The showplace became the second care facility in response to the virus after the TCF Center in Detroit.

“When talks were first coming out about us helping in these efforts, we were scared. These are scary times,” said McKenzie Bowman with the Suburban Collection Showplace.

Scary but needed. The 250,000 square-foot area will become a care center for 1,000 patients under the direction of the Army Corps of Engineers and the national guard.

“The goal is now to have the patients that are in stable condition be here,” Bowman said.

For privacy concerns, FOX 2 couldn't show you the inside of Suburban and no date has been set for when the first patient will arrive. However, crews are working 24 hours around the clock, and it will not be just patient beds.

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“We might have a pharmacy trailer come on site. We're going to have a cafeteria and break rooms for the nurses, and chapels for the nurses -- it's a design as we build,” Bowman said.

Like the TCF Center, the Suburban Collection Showplace is good for this type of facility because the floor is concrete and easy to sanitize.