Groundbreaking for the Northern Nevada Veterans Home project is set just over a week from now.
Kat Miller, director of Veterans Services for the state, said work will begin with a July 17 ceremony at the Northern Nevada Mental Health complex in Sparks and the home should be finished and open by the end of next year.
She said that caps 20-plus years of work to get a skilled nursing facility for veterans built in the north. At present, she said veterans have to travel hundreds of miles for nursing services, mostly out of state.
The quick start to construction was made possible by the Legislature and Gov. Brian Sandoval’s decision to pre-fund the $47.28 million project. While the federal government is planning to pay two-thirds of that total, about $31.5 million, the federal money may not come to the state for up to five years.
But she assured Sandoval the federal money will eventually come: “It’s not a question of if; it’s a question of when.”
Public Works Manager Gus Nuñez said building now using state money is a wise decision. He said the cost of the project could increase 30 percent or more over the next few years because of rapidly rising construction costs.
“Like Mr. Nuñez said, if we don’t do it now, likely we won’t be able to afford it,” said Sandoval.
Miller said it will be a 96-bed, state-of-the-art facility with single bedrooms and an atmosphere that is “much more home-like” than the Southern Nevada veterans home in Boulder City. She said it will also include a parade grounds for veterans’ events and space for veterans’ service organizations to meet.
Q&D Construction of Sparks won the bid to provide “construction Manager At Risk services” to build the home. The Board of Examiners voted unanimously on Wednesday to approve the contract.