After years of effort, advocates for an expansion of veterans’ health care services in Arizona will soon see the construction of two new 80-bed facilities.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has announced that, through its State Home Construction Grant program, it is funding the construction of an 80-bed veterans home that will go up at the southeast corner of Gemini Drive and Cedar Avenue in north Flagstaff.
The land for the project was earlier donated by the City of Flagstaff.
Similarly, an 80-bed veterans facility is slated for construction on city-donated land at S. Avenue 6E near 34th Street in central Yuma.
Both projects secured State of Arizona funding in 2015, with the Flagstaff facility receiving $10 million, and the Yuma project getting $9.2 million.
Although there are currently two up and running veterans homes and health care centers in both Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey has pointed out that veterans in the northern and far southern parts of the state have to travel more than 200 miles to visit either of those facilities.
As currently planned, both of the new facilities will provide live-in medical care and rehabilitative services, as well as memory care units.
The two projects will also house barber and beauty shops, meditation rooms, offices, and gift shops.
A delay in receiving a final word on the federal funding had earlier frustrated Arizona officials. Last November, Ducey penned an open letter to the Veterans Affairs Department noting, “The longer it takes to break ground on these projects, the more expensive they become.”
Work on the two facilities is expected to begin in the spring of 2019 with an 18-month construction schedule.
By Garry Boulard
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