By CAROLINE BECK, Alabama Daily News
MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Plans for a new state veterans home in Enterprise are progressing this week with a contract for $3.7 million under review at Thursday’s Legislative Contract Review Committee meeting.
The contract with Williams Blackstock Architects PC in Birmingham is for design and construction oversight of a 175-bed facility for veterans in the Wiregrass area.
The new facility and location were approved by the Alabama State Board of Veterans Affairs in January.
Selection of a contractor and construction is anticipated to begin by November 2021, Alicia Anger, a public information officer for Alabama’s Department of Veterans Affairs, told Alabama Daily News.
The facility is expected to be completed and opened by the end of 2023. The total project budget is $60 million, Anger said.
A study done by Public Consulting Group Inc. found that by 2045, 1,440 veterans in Alabama would require a skilled-care bed. Alabama currently has four veterans homes with a total of about 704 beds. Skilled care refers to a high level of medical care provided by licensed health professionals.
The study also found that the Wiregrass is an underserved area for providing skilled-care exclusively for veterans. Enterprise was chosen as the best location for the new facility because of its available workforce to support the home as well as medical services needed to support the veterans.