Construction under way on addition to VA medical center

Construction is under way on an addition to the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Grand Junction.

The 31,000 square-foot surgical facility will be built on top of an existing two-story clinic and tie into the third floor of the seven-floor inpatient tower at the center.

The $11 million project is scheduled for completion in July.

The new surgery facility will include four operating rooms and two endoscopy rooms as well as a pre- and post-operative care unit with 11 bays, a nursing station and support spaces.

The new facility also will house an intensive care unit with five negative-pressure patient rooms.

The third-floor addition will replace older operating rooms as well as consolidate surgical facilities previously located in multiple areas of the center. The addition will free up space throughout the center to offer new services in the future.

“Overall, it allows for much more efficient hospital operations,” said Paul Sweeney, a public affairs officer for the center.

The Grand Junction VA Medical Center serves about 37,000 veterans on the Western Slope with acute medical, surgical and psychiatric services as well as a range of outpatient services. The center operates 23 acute care and 30 transitional care beds.

The center has experienced increased demand, serving an average of 1,000 additional patients a year for the past three years.

The Grand Junction center received the 2001 Presidential Award for Quality — the first, and so far only, VA center to receive that award.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District provides contract support services for the third-floor addition to the center.

Neenan Company, a design and build construction contractor based in Fort Collins that specializes in health care facilities, provides integrated architecture and construction services. Ross & Baruzzini based in St. Louis provides interior design services.

“As a Colorado-based company with many veterans on staff, we are honored to have the opportunity to expand health care services to veterans in our own backyard,” said Randy Myers, president of the Neenan Company. “We’re committed to being responsible stewards of the taxpayer money used to fund this project.”