U.S. Senator Mel Martinez (R-FL) today commended the Department of Veterans Affairs on awarding a construction contract for the new Sarasota National Cemetery in Sarasota, Florida. The $17,482,519 contract was awarded to a Florida firm to construct a 50-acre addition. Construction is scheduled to begin in early 2011.
"Florida is the home to nearly 6 million veterans and each has played a proud part in America's military tradition," Senator Martinez said. "This cemetery will serve nearly 398,700 veterans and family members located in eight of the surrounding counties, as well as ensure that the families of our nation's veterans will have a better opportunity to be closer to their loved ones who have passed. I look forward to the continued development of the Sarasota National Cemetery, as it will truly honor our veterans and their service."
Funding for this project was appropriated by Congress in Fiscal Year 2008. Blue Cord Construction, Inc., a service-disabled veteran-owned small business firm, will develop the area to include approximately 11,500 crypt gravesites, 6,000 cremation sites, an administration building with an electronic gravesite locator, public restrooms, a columbarium, maintenance complex, two committal service shelters, a flag/assembly area, memorial wall, and an avenue of flags. The project will also incorporate an entrance area and roadways, systems for water and utilities distribution, signage, landscaping, site furnishings, and environmental preservation and mitigation. The Sarasota National Cemetery is the seventh national cemetery in Florida. Florida's other six national cemeteries are located in Bushnell, Jacksonville, Lake Worth, Pensacola, St. Augustine, and St. Petersburg.