CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WVDN) – On Thursday, March 2, Gov. Jim Justice ceremonially signed a contract launching the design and engineering work on West Virginia’s second veterans nursing home, a Southern West Virginia facility that state veterans have been seeking for longer than a decade.
The 120-bed facility will be built on a 12-acre plot of land adjacent to the Jackie Withrow Hospital, off Eisenhower Drive in east Beckley. The first state veterans nursing home, in Clarksburg, was opened 15 years ago and primarily serves veterans in North Central West Virginia.
“I’ve said more times than I can count that we owe everything we have to our veterans,” Justice said. “We’ve got to take care of those who gave so much for us. This new nursing facility is going to mean the world to our veterans and their families who have needed this facility in Southern West Virginia for a long time.”
The facility will be constructed through a combination of federal VA and state money. Justice, with the Legislature’s full support, has earmarked funds in the state’s budget to serve as a match for federal grant dollars.
A partnership of SFCS Architects and Thrasher Engineering will oversee the architectural and engineering work for the Beckley facility. Roanoke, Virginia-based SFCS has designed more than a dozen high-profile, veterans-specific facilities across the United States. Thrasher Engineering, a West Virginia company, is one of the mid-Atlantic region’s largest and most versatile full-service architecture and engineering firms.
The Beckley nursing facility will be state-of-the-art. It will be designed around the Veterans Health Administration’s Small House Model, which features clusters of ‘neighborhood’ housing areas with private rooms and community spaces that adjoin shared, fully-accessible kitchens. The facility will also include a central common area that will house recreational and health care services.
The facility will offer 20 beds for veterans diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.
“Under Governor Justice’s support and leadership, this tremendous project is going to happen. The Beckley veterans nursing facility will give the families of Southern West Virginia veterans the ability to seek top-quality care for their senior loved ones, and the care will be closer to home,” West Virginia Department of Veterans Assistance Cabinet Secretary Edward Diaz said.
“My staff and I have worked tirelessly on making this facility a reality. We understand that this architectural and engineering agreement is only one step toward construction of the new nursing facility, but it is a huge, critically important step.”
Potential names for the facility are still being considered from among several highly decorated West Virginia Veterans.
The West Virginia Department of Veterans Assistance operates the West Virginia Veterans Nursing Facility (Clarksburg), the West Virginia Veterans Home (Barboursville), the Donel C. Kinnard Memorial State Veterans Cemetery (Institute) and 16 field and claims offices throughout the state.