According to Bob Horton, the public information officer for the Alabama Department of Veteran’s Affairs, the Board of Veteran’s Affairs approved naming the facility the Col. Robert L. Howard State Veteran’s Home.
“Col. Howard was one born in Opelika, and was awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroism during the Vietnam War,” Horton said. “He is considered one of our nation’s most decorated Soldiers.”
Horton also said a tentative groundbreaking date has been set for Tuesday, Nov. 30, at the site just off Interstate 20 and across the street from the site of the new St. Vincent’s St. Clair hospital.
“We are looking forward to the groundbreaking for the new VA nursing home here in St. Clair County and are very excited about the momentum of the project,” said Don Smith, executive director of the St. Clair County Economic Development Council. “Not only will it provide quality care for our veterans, but also many new jobs for the surrounding community.”
The VA home project was put on the fast track in early September, when Gov. Bob Riley announced a $15 million grant to begin construction. The home will have 254 private rooms that include 174 skilled-care beds and 80 domiciliary units, all integrated into residential neighborhoods. Each neighborhood will have two to three houses with 12 to 14 private rooms, personal bathrooms and living rooms as well as dining areas with complete kitchens for serving meals.
Projected completion is the spring of 2012.
Contact Will Heath at firstname.lastname@example.org.