The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

October 3, 2013

$35M veterans hospital to be built in Montgomery

— MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Work will start later this month on a massive, $35 million Veterans Affairs Health Care Center in east Montgomery, according to project planners.

The 153,315-square-foot structure at Chantilly Parkway and Ryan Road will include a full-service pharmacy, a laboratory, a radiology clinic, an ophthalmology and dental clinic, a women's health clinic and more.

Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange said the facility won't negatively impact the Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System campus on Perry Hill Road in Montgomery. In fact, he said the new facility could handle outpatient services for veterans in the area, potentially allowing the Perry Hill hospital to expand its other services.

"It's a great new addition, particularly for the veterans that are in this area — and we have a lot of them," Strange said. "And it's going to attract more veterans, not just to Montgomery but to central Alabama."

Veterans Health Care System employees are continuing to work through the government shutdown, along with the military, airport security personnel and others who have been deemed too essential to furlough. Developer US Federal Properties of Kansas City, Mo., said the company doesn't expect the shutdown to delay construction work, either.

It plans to finish the facility in 2015.

USFP will provide its own financing and lease the finished facility back to the VA, a financial plan the company said allows them to build the type of project normally only seen in the private sector.

"This type of specialized financing through USFP provides the VA with a state-of-the art facility where veterans and their families can receive a complete continuum of care," USFP Principal Cathy Baier said.

The design by Hoefer Wysocki Architecture of Leawood, Kansas, is based on a "clinic in the park" concept that uses greenery and a wide exterior view of water and gardens. The company said the goal is to create a relaxing environment for patients and an inspiring work area for employees.

Meyer Najem Construction of Fishers, Ind., will handle the construction.

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