AFTER STOPPING THE CANANDAIGUA VA MEDICAL CENTER CLOSURE NEARLY 20 YEARS AGO, SCHUMER SECURES OVER $60 MILLION TO BEGIN PHASE 4 CONSTRUCTION OF VA CAMPUS MODERNIZATION & EXPANSION IN JUST-PASSED FY22 VA BILL TO FUND CRITICAL RENOVATIONS, ADD MORE BEDS, LONG-SOUGHT UPGRADES TO GIVE FINGER LAKES VETERANS THE CARE THEY DESERVE & ANNOUNCES PUSH TO SECURE FINAL $62.5M IN UPCOMING FY23 TO COMPLETE THE ENTIRE $506M PROJECT
When The Canandaigua VA Was Targeted For Closure In 2003, Schumer Successfully Led The Charge To Block Closure Plans And Thanks To His Relentless Advocacy Instead Secured Over $443M So Far To Upgrade Campus, Build New Outpatient Clinic, Safeguard It From Future Closure Threats
Schumer Secured $60M Phase 4 Will Construct 2 New Housing Cottages To House Dozens Of Veterans And Complete Major Upgrades To Buildings 4 And 5; Now Schumer Is Pushing For Final $62.5M To Complete The Major Overhaul Begun In 2018
Schumer: Rochester-Area Veterans Are A Major Step Closer To Finally Get The State-Of-The-Art Care Facility They Deserve
After launching an all-out push to stop the closure of the Canandaigua Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Campus nearly two decades ago, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer today announced he has secured over $60 million in federal funding for Phase 4 of the Canandaigua campus’ major modernization and expansion in the FY22 Veterans Affairs Major Medical Facility Authorization Act that the Senate just passed and is expected to soon be signed into law by the President. Since first launching his push to save the VA center, Schumer has delivered over $443 million in funding so far for the overall $506 million upgrade project that began construction in 2018 starting with $161 million that Schumer had secured for Phase 1. Schumer said with the Phase 4 funding now secured, he is pushing to secure the final $62.5 million needed to complete the overall $506 million project in the upcoming Fiscal Year 2023 VA Appropriations bill that Congress is expected to take up later this year. Schumer said this overall half a billion dollar major construction project to upgrade the Canandaigua VA will provide Rochester-area veterans with the new state-of-art medical facilities and housing they have long deserved.
“Nearly two decades ago the feds wanted to close the Canandaigua VA, ripping away this vital care rather than investing in it for the future. I stood shoulder to shoulder with our Rochester Finger Lakes-area veterans to get the Canandaigua VA Medical Center off the chopping block and promised I would deliver the funds to modernize the campus to provide state-of-the-art care our veterans deserved,” said Senator Schumer. “That is why I am proud to announce over $60 million has now been secured for Phase 4, bringing the total project investment to over $443 million, to add housing for dozens of veterans and make critical upgrades to the buildings to ensure our veterans have the top notch facilities they earned. Our Rochester-Finger Lakes veterans fought for us, and that’s why I will always fight for them, and won’t stop until every penny of federal funding is delivered to transform this 150-acre campus into the 21st century facility our community needs.”
Jim Wideman, Chairman of the Finger Lakes Veterans Advocacy Council said, “The Finger Lakes Veterans Advocacy Council has long-supported the modernization and expansion of the Canandaigua VA Medical Campus to ensure our veterans are receiving the highest quality of care. We appreciate Senator Schumer’s continued efforts to secure funding for this project, including the $60 million he secured for phase four, as well as his push today for the final funding needed to complete this vital project.”
Specifically, Schumer said the over $60 million in federal funding will go to the next Phase 4 scope of work which includes the construction of 2 new Housing Cottages (Cottages A and B). Each cottage has 12 private bedrooms and together will provide quality housing for 24 additional veterans. These Cottages are in addition to the 8 other Cottage units (Cottages C-J) and community building (K) that provide housing and services for 96 veterans cottages which are now under construction thanks to the Phase 2 funding that Schumer helped secure in previous funding bills. In addition, the funding will also complete renovations to buildings 4 and 5 and finish vital HVAC upgrades to building 5.
Schumer also announced his push to secure the remaining final $62.5M needed to complete the overall planned $506 million major modernization and upgrade of the Canandaigua VA Medical Campus in the Fiscal Year 2023 VA Appropriations bill that Congress is expected to take up later this year. This $62.5 million will fund the final upgrades, including the remaining renovations to Buildings 1,3,4,5, and 9.
Senator Schumer has a long history both fighting to keep the Canandaigua VA Medical Campus open, and delivering the robust federal funding to modernize the campus to boost the quality of care for Finger Lakes veterans. In 2003, the VA released its Capital Asset Realignment for Enhancement Services (CARES) Draft National Plan which recommended closing the Canandaigua Veteran's hospital, which would have forced local veterans to travel much farther to VA hospitals in other cities to receive the care they needed, and removing one of the region’s major employers. Schumer launched an all-out campaign to keep the hospital open, even convincing the former VA secretary to visit in person.
In 2007, following the non-stop efforts by Schumer and the community, the VA announced that it would initiate a major reconstruction project to modernize the Canandaigua VA Medical Center in order to provide state-of-the-art care and meet the needs of current and future veterans. To begin the redevelopment project, Schumer secured $36.58 million in FY2010 to complete a new campus master plan. In 2013, Schumer wrote to then VA Secretary Shinseki to include funding for the site in their budget request. In 2014, Schumer announced the VA agreed to this request and would seek the necessary $122.4 million, which Schumer then helped secure as part of the FY2015 omnibus-spending bill. Altogether the $161M Phase I scope of work included building a new 84,200 sq. ft. three-story modern Outpatient Clinic in undeveloped space between buildings 1 and 2, as well as design, construction, asbestos removal, and upgrades to utilities, access roads, parking and construction of additional state-of-the-art updates.
Schumer then delivered $190 million for Phase II funding that constructed a new Community Living Center Complex that replaced its outdated long-term living spaces, the renovation the dilapidated Domiciliary facility where veterans recovered before re-entering the community after receiving assistance for homelessness, substance abuse, or mental or behavior health therapy, as well as other upgrades. Most recently, Schumer secured $30 million for Phase III to complete renovations on building 3, which houses rehab, physical therapy, mental health outpatient care, and adult day health care offerings.
This nearly 20 yearlong effort by Schumer is now coming full circle from the facility almost closing to the overall $506 million major construction project to modernize the Canandaigua VA Medical Campus now entering the home stretch so Rochester Finger Lakes veterans can receive the care they need for decades to come.