The Alaska Airlines Center, located near Providence Hospital, will be converted into an alternate care facility by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for COVID-19 patients in Anchorage. The work is scheduled to begin Monday.

The Corps of Engineers on Monday received an assignment from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and subsequent authorization from state partners to erect space for 51 additional hospital beds and associated nursing stations in the arena. A construction contract worth more than $1.26 million was awarded to Alaska companies Neeser Construction Inc. and Paug-Vick Development Corp in a joint venture.

If the demand for hospital beds exceeds the project, then the FEMA mission assignment is in place to expand up to 160 beds with authorization from the state and area hospitals.