ENTERPRISE, Ala. (WDHN) — A recent Veterans Affairs study projects that 1,440 veterans will require a skilled-care bed by 2045 in Alabama. However, there are only 704 beds in Alabama’s four veterans homes in Huntsville, Pell City, Bay Minette, and Alexander City.
A new VA living facility in Enterprise was planned to cost $60 million but rising prices and supply chain issues stalled everything until lawmakers signed off on more money.
“Because of the building cost and inflation rate that is going on across the nation, this extra $6 million will help the VA pay for the building and not have to scale down the building,” State Representative Rhett Marques said.
Without this extra funding, an entire wing of the new building would not have been built and that just wasn’t an option.
“When everybody got to talking through this problem, it was obvious none of us agreed that should happen. This need is in the thousands. And so this 174 beds. We couldn’t lose one bed,” Representative Mike Jones of House District 92 said.
A facility with all those beds is estimated to bring in 225 jobs once it’s up and running.
And while it is just an empty field now, in just a couple of months, the groundbreaking will start transforming a 108-acre plot of land into more than 170 beds for veterans.
“We are expecting a flag day in June to break ground on the VA,” Rep. Marques said. “It is a long-time coming and we are excited to get this built for our veterans,”
This new facility is expected to be completed sometime in 2023.