Governor Beshear today ceremonially broke ground on the Radcliff Veterans Center (RVC), a new state veterans nursing home.
"Kentucky's largest concentration of veterans will soon have a place they can get excellent nursing care close to their families and friends," Gov. Beshear said.
RVC is being built on the Community Living Center Model, which features four neighborhoods of three 10-bedroom homes each. The design provides 120 veterans with a private room and bath and family-style living room, dining room, kitchen and patio. A separate administration building will house recreation, therapy and other services. The center will employ 170 staff.
"This state-of-the-art facility demonstrates Kentucky's continuing dedication to providing superb services to our veterans and their families," said Commissioner Ken Lucas of the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs.
"I am honored to be a part of this exciting day -- a day celebrating a nice, new state veterans' nursing home right here in Radcliff," said Sen. Dennis Parrett, of Elizabethtown. "We can never thank our veterans enough for their service and sacrifice to our country. It is a debt that can never be repaid. But, this modern facility shows our commitment to our veterans and their long-term care."
"The building of this veterans nursing home in Radcliff will greatly benefit the Fort Knox area," said Rep. Jimmie Lee, of Elizabethtown. "Many of our community's retired veterans will now have improved access to long-term care, which is a quality component of other state veterans nursing homes. And how better can we honor those individuals but with this brand new facility?"
"I am excited to finally see the fruit of so many folks' labor taking root here in Hardin County," said Rep. Tim Moore, of Elizabethtown. "Our veteran population is a vibrant and critical part of this community, and this veterans nursing home will offer many veterans the care their faithful service has earned. I am honored to have been a part of the process to turn this vision into a reality, and look forward to the ribbon-cutting when the Radcliff veterans nursing home opens its doors."
"The City of Radcliff and the Hardin County community are excited to be the home of the state's fourth Veterans Center," said Radcliff Mayor J.J. Duvall. "It is an honor to have such a facility in our community, and we look forward to serving the veterans who have served us in the Armed Forces."
"We are very pleased to see construction begin on the long awaited veterans nursing home in Hardin County," said Judge-Executive Harry L. Berry. "Thousands of soldiers have worked and trained at Fort Knox; many of them complete their military service while serving at Fort Knox and decide to remain and live in Hardin County and the other surrounding counties. Our region is blessed to have so many that faithfully served our nation decide to make our communities their home as well. This new facility will enhance our region's ability to care for and provide services to those who so unselfishly served us in our nation's Armed Services."
The Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs began planning the Radcliff home in 2006. Construction began in July 2013, and the facility is scheduled to open in June 2015. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs provided a $21.45 million construction grant, and the Kentucky General Assembly appropriated $18.6 million in construction funds. The U.S. Department of Defense donated 194 acres of land from Fort Knox to the Commonwealth of Kentucky for the veterans center.
There are an estimated 56,000 veterans in Jefferson County, 16,000 in Hardin County, 7,000 in Bullitt County and 5,000 in Oldham County -- more than a fourth of all the veterans in Kentucky.
The Radcliff Veterans Center will be Kentucky's fourth state veterans home. Thomson-Hood Veterans Center in Wilmore opened in 1991, and Eastern Kentucky Veterans Center in Hazard and Western Kentucky Veterans Center in Hanson opened in 2002.