Virginia Beach approves land for new veterans care center
The Virginia Beach City Council has voted to reserve 15 to 25 acres of city land as the site of a proposed Veterans Care Center in Hampton Roads. The actual location of the site has not been determined.
House Bill 1275, introduced by House Majority Leader Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights) and Del. Chris Stolle (R-Virginia Beach), dedicates $28.5 million in funding for a proposed 240-bed, long-term care facility. However, the state must obtain funds from the federal government for the project to move forward.
“Securing a potential site for the construction of the Hampton Roads area veterans care center is a milestone step in our efforts to complete this project,” Cox said in a statement. “The commonwealth needs additional veterans care centers to provide quality long-term care to our veterans. The Hampton Roads and Northern Virginia facilities are two of our top legislative priorities this year.”
Del. Stolle requested the resolution passed Friday by the council.
“Virginia Beach is home to tens of thousands of active-duty and retired armed forces members. Dedicating land for this important project is another example of just how committed this city and its leaders are to caring for our nation’s heroes,” Stolle said in a statement. “I believe very strongly that Virginia Beach is the right location for a Hampton Roads care center and look forward to making that a reality very soon.”
Virginia currently has Veterans Care Centers in Salem and Richmond. The centers provide long-term care to veterans. Virginia is home to more than 800,000 veterans, the seventh-highest total of any state, but ranks 44th in the ratio of veterans to available care centers.
Virginia first authorized funding for the Hampton Roads care center in 2006, and the Northern Virginia care center in 2008. Through the efforts of Del. Rich Anderson (R-Prince William) two sites have been identified for the Northern Virginia Care Center, one in Innovation Park, Prince William County and another site on George Mason University’s Prince William County Campus. However, both projects have been stalled at the federal level. Care centers are built with 65 percent federal funding and 35 percent state funding.