State breaks ground on veterans home
Construction on the 93-acre, state-owned campus will include four single-story, 29,000-square-foot buildings, each with 32 private residences.
Construction has begun on a new facility to house Grand Rapids’ veterans.
The new $63-million facility is part of Michigan’s commitment to modernize long-term care for military veterans. The new home will replace aging facilities on the campus of the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans at 3000 Monroe Ave. NE. The existing facilities date back to 1885.
New construction on the 93-acre, state-owned campus will include four single-story, 29,000-square-foot buildings, each with 32 private residences outfitted with private bedrooms, bathrooms and new furniture. Each neighborhood building also will have a shared kitchen, dining room and living spaces.
At the center of the community will be a 33,000-square-foot community center with administrative offices, occupational and physical therapy and amenities that include a chapel, café, bistro, multipurpose rooms, beauty parlor and large space for full membership and community gatherings.
The five buildings will all be connected, allowing members to move through the neighborhood buildings and community center while staying indoors.
Grand Rapids Home for Veterans was one of two homes recommended for construction in the first year of a 10-year plan calling for seven new veterans homes across Michigan by a Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency-convened workgroup consisting of veteran groups, advocates, lawmakers, and health care and financial experts in 2016.
The second home recommended for construction is in Macomb County’s Chesterfield Township, which broke ground in late 2018. Both the new home in Grand Rapids and the home in Macomb County are slated for completion in mid-2021.
Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency and the Michigan Veterans’ Facility Authority will operate the facilities upon completion. Architecture is provided by TowerPinkster in Grand Rapids, and the Christman Company is serving as construction manager.
The state of Michigan is providing about $22 million to cover construction costs with another $41 million from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
The Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency was created by executive order in 2013 and exists to provide support, advocacy and services for veterans and family members. The Agency works with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, state departments, county agencies and community and veterans service organizations throughout the state.