Georgia War Veterans Home to renovate major campus buildings
According to the Director of Health and Memorials at the Georgia Department of Veterans Services Ernie Simons, the change come after officials approved the ‘Wounded Warriors Program,’ a new therapy and job placement plan to help veterans regain mental health and find a purpose in life after war.
“We will be able to treat these Veterans and give them some hope of returning to the community, or returning to their home,” says Simons.
He adds the program will help more than 30 veterans to begin with, and as the program expands and renovations continue, more people will be able to join.
“Quality of life is the main issue we will be addressing,” says Simons.
The Vinson and Russell building are the first two buildings crews plan to work on first.
Once contractors finish the Vinson building, staff members plan to transfer as many veterans to the that building in order to complete Russell.
State and Veteran Affairs’ funds contribute to this project based on a 35:65 ratio, according to Executive Director for the Georgia War Veterans Home Dennis Mize.
“Right now we’re looking at about six million dollars to start with. As the program grows, costs could increase, and it depends on how far we’re able to expand it,” says Mize.
“The Vinson building was built in 1968, and the Russell building in 1972,” says Simons.
And since then, neither of them had any major repair work or changes made.
“The renovations will consist of: remodeling the bathroom, and remodeling the patient rooms. We want new paint, new sheet rock, new flooring, and new ceiling tile,” says Simons.
To add to the list, crews will also take care of the asbestos problem inside the Russell building.
Both leaders say the new changes will condense the size of the rooms for more one-on-one care with patients.
After the changes are complete, four person rooms in the Vinson building will downsize to two, and two person rooms in the Russell building will be private rooms.
“No other state has a program like this, so it will be new for us,” says Mize.
By the end of 2018, Mize and Simons expects to finish campus renovations.