Congressman John Salazar joined Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki, and other members of the Colorado delegation, this morning, for the much anticipated announcement that construction will begin on a new, stand-alone VA hospital at the University of Colorado medical campus in Aurora.
Secretary Shinseki announced that demolition will begin in the next 60-90 days and the facility will begin serving veterans in the summer of 2013. The 200 bed hospital will be approximately 800,000-1 million sq feet, and include 30 spinal cord beds.
Secretary Shinseki called this "a great day for veterans and the Veterans Department" and told the delegation that "after 10 long years, it is an exciting announcement for you, but after 8 weeks it is an exciting announcement for me."
"As a veteran, I am excited that the hospital is going to finally, after many years of back and forth, get under way. Today's decision demonstrates Secretary Shinseki's and this administration's commitment to veterans throughout the country," said Congressman Salazar. "Secretary Salazar was a leader on this effort before he left the Senate and we shouldn't forget his efforts for Colorado veterans."
"Serving Colorado veterans has been my highest priority, and I promise them I will do everything I can to make sure the funding is available to complete the hospital on time," added Salazar, who secured appointment earlier this year to the Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, which has jurisdiction over VA facilities.