10/16/2019 12:00:00 PM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
St. Paul, Minn. – The architectural designs are nearing completion, and the Federal funding application has been submitted. Additional details have been provided to decision makers.
Officials from the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs visited Montevideo on Tuesday to provide an update to the Veterans Home planning task force on the status of the /mdva/homes/futurehomes/index.jspproposed Minnesota Veterans Home in Montevideo.
In 2018, the Minnesota Legislature allocated $9.4 million toward the cost of the project which will be funded by a combination of federal-granted (65 percent), state-bonded and pending community-provided monies (35 percent). In March of this year, MDVA submitted an application for Federal funds from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs; that funding will not be confirmed until early 2020.
While Federal funds are not guaranteed, there is continued optimism among the planning team. “The process is on track,” said MDVA Commissioner Larry Herke. “We look forward to approval of our Federal funding request and breaking ground on this new Veterans Home next year.” If funding is approved in early 2020, the project’s tentative timeline includes construction beginning in mid-2020 and the new home opening in early 2022.
The Montevideo Home’s design reflects a prairie-style inspired design that integrates natural materials such as wood and stone into the spaces. The public spaces that include a Town Center featuring a small coffee shop/cafe, theater/meeting room, family dining room, meditation room/chapel, and club room. The 72 residential units all have private baths and will be split into two sections and four “neighborhoods” of 18 residents each, avoiding long institutional-feeling hallways.
While the funding process is moving along, there have been some adjustments in the final design. Increasing construction and labor costs necessitated selecting more economical materials for roofing and countertops and the elimination of some features including extending the front entrance canopy over the driveway, a playground, picnic shelter and maintenance building.
Marv Garbe, Montevideo Veterans Home Committee Chair, said the primary goal is to ensure that Veterans are well cared for. Despite the reductions, the spaces used most frequently by the Veteran Residents – their private rooms, bathrooms and family gathering rooms – were maintained. MDVA also maintained the transfer garage, important when Residents come and go from the facility during cold or inclement weather, and a basement.
The meeting also acknowledged the tremendous support from the community to date. Montevideo residents have been very generous, and their ongoing gifts may support the addition of amenities removed during the budget reduction process.
MDVA Deputy Commissioner of Veterans Healthcare Douglas Hughes noted that staffing the new home will be a priority as construction is completed. All staff will be State of Minnesota employees who receive competitive pay and generous benefits. About six months prior to opening, hiring will begin for leadership positions, and more than 150 employees will be hired in total.
For more information, visit the /mdva/homes/futurehomes/index.jspFuture Homes page of the MDVA website.
The Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs (MDVA) is a cabinet-level state agency dedicated to serving Minnesota Veterans and their families. In addition to overseeing the five State Veterans Homes, MDVA helps eligible Veterans and families secure state and federal benefits and provides programs and services relating to higher education, benefits, burial, claims, outreach and Veterans employment. Veterans and their families are encouraged to visit www.MinnesotaVeteran.org or call 1-(888)-LinkVet for more information about benefits.