By: Jim Gates, Department Commander
Update on new Denver VA Hospital
The “Official” name for the hospital (at this particular time) is: Replacement Medical Center Facility, Eastern Colorado Health Care System, Aurora, Colorado. We continue to just refer to it as the New VA Hospital. But, in the future, as time draws closer to completion, there will be an involved process to give the new facility its “real” name. And, of course, our Colorado Congressional Delegation is part of this process and the wheels are already turning to gather information to feed the naming process. You will see and hear much more on this in the future.
I was honored by the Colorado UVC asking me to be present at a quarterly Project Progress Update meeting at the construction site on February 6th. Present (among others) were UVC President and Past American Legion Department Commander, Ralph Bozella, UVC Vice President and Past American Legion Department Commander, Frank McCurdy, and other UVC leaders, Commanders of the major Colorado VSO’s, VA representative, and a Congressional Delegation representative.
The FIRST thing I noticed was the now-open southbound off-ramp from I-225 to Fitzsimmons Parkway. A shuttle ride from a restricted parking lot to the Buckley AFB Clinic and the offices of Kiewit-Turner on the second floor brought me to the small conference room on the second floor which overlooks the entire construction site. I was truly amazed at the progress since I had last visited in June 2012.
A FEW FAST FACTS: 1) Over 10,000 cubic yards of structural concrete have been poured on-site (about 10% of the total)! 2) About 1,300 tons of structural steel has been erected. 3) Inpatient Building (gray mass to right in photo) has 95% of its structural steel in place. 4) Overall construction completion now at 15.1 %. Estimated time to completion of the entire campus is February 2015, with activation scheduled for Fall 2015.
While attendees at the meeting were, of course, impressed with the physical progress being made, questions arose as to the number of Veteran-owned sub-contractors working on site and the number of veterans working overall on the project. Kiewit-Turner’s Public Information Officer was hesitant to quote statistics related to our queries but told us that ball-park estimates could be divulged at future meetings. This topic was of keen interest to all present at the meeting because a strong Veteran presence on the project was stressed at a Kiewit-Turner job fair held for Veteran-owned businesses I attended in late 2011.
Veterans looking for work are encouraged to contact the sub-contractors directly. But who are they and where and how can they be reached? This information is rather nebulous at the present time but a plan is underway to make it public knowledge.
For more information:
Kiewit-Turner, General Contractor
Public Information Officer W. Celeste Davis, CPSM
720-202-6153 or firstname.lastname@example.org.