Governor Pat Quinn today announced a $47.5 million investment from his Illinois Jobs Now! capital construction program to complete the new Illinois Veterans Home at Chicago. The investment announced today is in addition to $23 million from previous years to build the $70.5 million facility. Outreach programs on Sept. 5 and 10 will encourage veteran-owned businesses to submit bids for the construction project, which will begin in 2014. Today's action is part of Governor Quinn's agenda to honor and support the men and women who have served our nation.
"The Veterans Home at Chicago will provide a high-quality, modern facility that will meet our veterans' needs and improve the quality of their lives," Governor Quinn said. "The facility will create hundreds of construction jobs, 250 permanent jobs, and care for 200 of our nation's heroes."
The Illinois Veterans Home at Chicago will be built on 7.8 acres of land at the southwest corner of Forest Preserve Drive and Oak Park Avenue. The location was selected because of its proximity to the Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital and its accessibility to public transportation. Units will provide special care for Alzheimer's disease and dementia, long term, and secure special care needs.
"Well over half of Illinois' 764,000 veterans live in the Chicago area, and we're proud that this new facility is being built to serve them," Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs (IDVA) Director Erica Borggren said. "The Veterans Home at Chicago will be a tremendous benefit for veterans and their families in northern Illinois."
The five-story home will feature single occupancy rooms with private bathrooms and common areas for dining and meeting with visitors. The facility will be built to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) silver standards, a testament to its energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly design. The construction project will be managed by the Illinois Capital Development Board.
"The Illinois Jobs Now! program has stimulated the state's economy for several years with construction projects like the Veterans Home that address our vital needs," Capital Development Board Executive Director Jim Underwood said. "As a result of this program, we have better roads and bridges, updated educational facilities, and places like this Veterans Home to serve those who have served our country."
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has approved federal reimbursement for up to 65 percent of the eligible construction costs on the project. This means as much as $45.8 million of the construction cost could be covered by the federal government.
Chicago Veterans Home Project Outreach Events are set for 1 p.m. on Sept. 5 in Room N-505 and Sept. 10 in Room N-502 of the Michael A. Bilandic Building at 160 N. LaSalle Street in Chicago. The events will inform veteran-owned businesses how to get certified as veteran-owned contractors, sub-contractors or supplier businesses so they may be considered for participation in the Veterans Home construction project, which has specific veteran and minority business participation goals. Immediately following these outreach events, the Capital Development Board will host pre-bid meetings to discuss the procurement process in detail. These pre-bid meetings are a great opportunity for veteran-owned businesses to network with contractors in order to communicate their company's services and status as a veteran-owned business and learn about the project itself.
The Illinois Veterans Home at Chicago will be the fifth veterans' home to be located in Illinois and the first in Chicago. It will be operated by the IDVA, which also supervises veterans' homes in Anna, LaSalle, Manteno and Quincy. IDVA also operates the Prince Home, a 15-bed permanent supportive housing facility for homeless and disabled veterans at Manteno. When completed and after certification of the Home, the Department will be able to receive USDVA per diem payments that will provide over one quarter of the annual operating budget of the Home.