SCHUMER ANNOUNCES $122.4 MILLION IN FEDERAL FUNDS HEADING TO CANANDAIGUA VA IN BILL THAT JUST CLEARED CONGRESS – FUNDS WILL HELP MOVE CONSTRUCTION FORWARD
Schumer Fought to Protect & Secure More Funds for Canandaigua VA Campus – Schumer Helped Secure Over $36M in 2010 and Helped Make Canandaigua VA One of Only Four National Priorities in This Year’s VA Budget
Schumer: Funds Get Long-Awaited Construction at Canandaigua VA Campus Underwa
Today, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer announced the Canandaigua VA Medical Campus will receive $122,400,000 to use for construction as part of the Omnibus Bill that passed Congress over the weekend. The Canandaigua VA is one of only four VA construction projects in the country that Senate appropriators have recommended receive funds. The $122 million appropriation for the Canandaigua VA represents a substantial portion of Canandaigua’s estimated $300 million redevelopment plan; which includes a modern outpatient clinic, additional housing and services. Schumer has been a longtime supporter of the Canandaigua VA Medical campus including securing the land lease needed to break ground on the Cadence Square housing development. With the President’s signature, construction will be able to move forward on this critical project as soon as the fall of 2015.
This major reconstruction project was originally announced seven years ago in 2007, following efforts by Schumer and the community in 2004 to convince the federal Capital Asset Realignment for Enhancement Services (CARES) Commission to not only keep the VA Campus open, but to modernize it for future generations of veteran use, and safeguard it from any future efforts to close the facility. To begin the redevelopment project, Schumer secured $36.58 million in FY10 to complete a new campus master plan, begin the project’s preliminary design work, and complete environmental assessments. In 2013, Schumer successfully pushed VA Secretary Shinseki to include funding for the site in their budget request.
“With this funding, we are well on our way to upgrading and modernizing the Canandaigua VA Campus so it can better care for our veterans. This investment is long overdue and will build the new modern, cutting-edge facilities that Rochester and Finger Lakes area veterans deserve after having served our country. Our vets have protected and defended us and it is our job to care for them when they come home,” said Senator Schumer. “The request is heading straight to the President’s desk and I urge him to sign it so we can better serve these brave men and women when they return home to the country they served.”
Specifically, this $122 million will build the new modern Outpatient clinic by renovating Building #2 as well as building a new structure on now-empty land between Building #1 and Building #2. Additionally, Building #3 will be renovated to add new rehabilitation and behavioral health services and Building #1 will be renovated for new administrative support departments. The Canandaigua VA is one of only four VA construction projects throughout the country that Senate appropriators have recommended receive funds. The VA anticipates construction could begin as soon as fall 2015.
The Senators highlighted the urgent need for redevelopment of the Canandaigua VA to facilitate the center’s care for the aging veterans in the region in addition to reducing the staggering prevalence of homelessness and addiction among veterans who have recently returned home.
The Canandaigua VA Medical Center has provided services for veterans in the Rochester-Finger Lakes area since 1933 and has been recognized as a Center for Excellence. The facility houses the national VA Suicide Prevention/Crisis Hotline call center which has fielded 600,000 calls since opening in 2007. The campus is the only one in New York State and is one of 20 in the country to offer the Veterans Integration to Academic Leadership (VITAL) program to afford veterans the opportunity to fully access their benefits.
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