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VA Seeks $4.1 Billion for Facility Maintenance, Upgrades

Apr 10, 2023 | Public | 0 comments

Funding would be used to update 10 health facilities that “lack resiliency and sustainability.”  

 

When you are the largest integrated healthcare system in the United States — providing care at 1,298 facilities nationwide, including 171 medical centers and 1,113 outpatient sites — the challenges of keeping facilities’ HVAC, plumbing and mechanical systems operating reliably and efficiently are immense. So is the bill for paying for facility maintenance and upgrades.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has proposed a $325 billion fiscal 2024 budget, including $4.1 billion for construction — the largest request ever for the category as the department struggles to maintain aging hospitals, some more than 100 years old, according to Military.com.

The funding would be used to update 10 health facilities that “lack resiliency and sustainability,” according to VA budget documents. Yet the request comes as the department continues an ongoing assessment of all its properties, many with equally urgent repair or upgrade needs. The fiscal 2024 budget request is the largest ever for the department, representing a 5% increase from this year’s approved budget request.

The $4.1 billion request for construction includes $3.01 billion for 10 medical facilities and two cemetery projects, and $1.08 billion to 76 new minor construction projects. The 10 VA facilities that would receive major construction funds are in San Juan, Puerto Rico; Portland, Oregon; American Lake, Washington; Perry Point, Maryland; El Paso, Texas; West Haven, Connecticut; Dallas; San Francisco; San Diego; and St. Louis.

In at least one of the facilities, West Haven, hazards have been known for years: In the months leading up to a steam pipe explosion in 2020 that killed two workers, employees had complained of unsafe or unsanitary conditions such as burst pipes and insect infestations.

By Dan Hounsell, Senior Editor 

Dan Hounsell is senior editor of the facilities market. He has more than 30 years of experience writing about facilities maintenance, engineering and management. 

The post "VA Seeks $4.1 Billion for Facility Maintenance, Upgrades" appeared first on FN Prime Maintenance & Operations

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