SCHUMER ANNOUNCES THAT, AFTER HIS PUSH, $141 MILLION IN CONSTRUCTION FUNDING HAS FINALLY BEEN ALLOCATED TO THE CANANDAIGUA VA MEDICAL CENTER; THE NEW CLINIC WILL BE THE HELP ROCHESTER-FINGERLAKES VETERANS NEED, PREVIOUS UPGRADE WAS DELAYED BY BUREAUCRATIC HOLD-UPS
Schumer Says Long-Awaited Funding Will Make Way for A New Outpatient Clinic & Local Construction Jobs
Schumer: These Upgrades Give Our Local Vets The State-of-Art Care They Deserve
U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer announced today that, following his push, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) will begin the long-sought construction-phase of the $141.13 million Canandaigua Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Campus modernization project, issuing the construction bid next month. Under the project, USACE and the VA plan to modernize the Canandaigua VA Medical Campus by renovating existing facilities and constructing new buildings, including a modern 84,200 square foot Outpatient Clinic, which will provide state-of-the-art care to meet the needs of current and future Rochester and Finger Lakes area veterans. Schumer said the Army Corps will get this important project back on track for the thousands of area veterans who depend upon the center’s services.
“Our veterans have protected and defended us, and it is our job to care for them when they come home and as they age. I was proud to fight to secure the $141 million in federal funds needed to bring this long-awaited facility upgrade to the Canandaigua VA campus. Now that the Army Corps of Engineers has issued its final approval, construction bids can finally be issued and we can get shovels in the ground,” said Senator Schumer. “This investment is long overdue and will not only create good-paying construction jobs as we build these cutting-edge facilities, but it will give Rochester and Finger Lakes area veterans access to the care they deserve after so bravely serving our country.”
The VA originally announced in 2007 that it would initiate a major reconstruction project to modernize the Canandaigua VA Medical Center and provide state-of-the-art care and meet, the needs of current and future veterans. This announcement came after Schumer, local veterans, and the community, in 2003-2004, convinced the VA's Capital Asset Realignment for Enhancement Services (CARES) Commission to reverse its recommendation that the VA close the Canandaigua Medical Center. Instead, after Schumer's urging, the VA agreed in 2004, to not only keep the VA Campus open, but to modernize and safeguard it from any future efforts to close the facility. Through Schumer’s efforts, the Canandaigua VA became one of only four VA major construction projects across the country that Senate appropriators recommended to receive construction funds in 2014.
To begin the redevelopment project, Schumer secured $36.58 million in FY 2010 to complete a new campus master plan, begin the project’s preliminary design work, and complete environmental assessments. 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 provide the necessary $122.4 million as a part of the FY 2015 omnibus spending bill to begin the construction phase of this project. The $122 million appropriation funds phase I scope of work and represents a substantial portion of Canandaigua VA Medical Center's estimated $300 million redevelopment plan; which includes a modern outpatient clinic and additional state-of-the-art updates. So far, $141.13 million has been delivered, including $134.33 million for construction and $6.8 million for asbestos abatement and demolition will fund this Phase I scope of work.
Schumer previously said that $122.4 million in construction funding was approved in December 2014, and it was anticipated that construction contracts could be awarded within twelve months, as soon as the fall of 2015. However, the process of soliciting contracts to build and renovate these facilities had not, until now, begun. Schumer said, now with the Army Corps cleared to release bids, the construction phase can finally begin. Schumer said the construction phase of this project will not only bring area veterans one step closer to accessing the care they require near their homes but also create good-paying local construction jobs, which will positively impact the regional economy.
To begin, the USACE has advertised it will hold an “Industry Day” informational presentation on Monday, 24 July 2017 at the Holiday Inn Express in Canandaigua from 9:30 AM-12:00 PM to provide information about the project to interested construction and contracting firms. The USACE expects to advertise and release construction bids in August 2017 and award the construction contact in January 2018.