- Associated Press - Sunday, September 21, 2014

CHICAGO (AP) - Ground was broken Sunday on a new $70.5 million Illinois Veterans Home - the first such facility to be built in Chicago and the fifth statewide, officials said.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs approved federal reimbursement for up to 65 percent - or $45.8 million - of eligible construction costs for the 200-bed facility, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn’s office said. Construction is to begin in early October. Quinn attended the Sunday ground breaking ceremony.

The new home will be five-stories tall, have single occupancy rooms, private bathrooms and common areas for dining and meeting with visitors. It also will have united to provide long-term care for veterans suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

The Illinois Capital Development Board is managing the construction project. The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs will operate the home. Similar homes are in Anna, LaSalle, Manteno and Quincy.

The state veterans’ department will qualify for federal payments to provide more than 25 percent of the home’s operating budget, the governor’s office said.

Quinn is running for re-election against GOP candidate Bruce Rauner. Rauner’s campaign didn’t immediately have comment on the project.

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