Denver VA hospital $1 billion over budget. 9News at 6p.m. 3/17/2015
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Brandon Rittiman, KUSA 5:23 a.m. MDT March 18, 2015A aerial view of the VA hospital construction site in Aurora.(Photo: Department of Veterans Affairs)DENVER – The new VA hospital under construction in Aurora is now expected to cost $1 billion more than budgeted.VA Deputy Secretary Sloan Gibson briefed the Colorado Congressional delegation by phone Tuesday afternoon, saying the new estimated cost for the medical facility will be $1.73 billion. The nine-building medical complex along Colfax Avenue, which replaces the existing VA Medical Center in central Denver, is scheduled for completion in 2017.”It took my breath away,” said Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) when he heard the estimate. Congress had set the spending cap for the replacement VA hospital at $880 million. It was not immediately clear what caused costs to balloon far beyond what Congress or the Administration anticipated.”It’s going to be a tough sell before the Congress to come up with the money,” said Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO), a combat veteran. Coffman added there’s an “obligation” to finish the hospital “so we can give the kind of health care we’ve promised to the men and women who served this country.”The Aurora VA hospital project has been plagued by construction delays and cost overruns for years. In December, hospital contractor Kiewit-Turner temporarily walked off the job after a judge found the Veterans Affairs Department to be in breach of contract. Building resumed just before Christmas under a temporary deal, which included the Army Corps of Engineers assuming control of construction management.Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) called the latest cost estimate “symbolic of the VA’s mismanagement of this project, which has been unconscionable and an insult to our veterans and taxpayers.”Rep. Jeff Miller, (R-FL), Chairman of House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, offered a list of “requirements” the VA must meet to gain his approval to finish construction. They include “purging those responsible for the problems in Denver from the VA payroll,” and possibly “decreasing the scope of the project or selling it.”Perlmutter said he’d love to … – Click Here To Visit Article Source