- Associated Press - Friday, March 11, 2016

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (AP) - The Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Fort Wayne is being prepared for what eventually will be a three-story addition aimed at modernizing the facility built in 1950.

“You’re going to see an incredible amount of construction in the next three years,” Jay Miller, associate director of operations for the VA’s Northern Indiana Health Care System, told the Journal Gazette (https://bit.ly/225ZUcF ).

Construction crews also have gutted and are rebuilding outpatient clinics on the third floor and will begin work on the fourth floor in September. Ongoing and planned renovations at the Fort Wayne complex could approach $49 million in value by 2019, Miller said.

After abandoning plans announced in 2009 to replace the facility, VA built a stand-alone mental health clinic and began remodeling parts of the medical center. Modernization projects accelerated as VA assigned Miller to handle construction and planning for northern Indiana. He previously managed facilities at the VA health care system in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Crews are currently adding a sterilization processing service, because medical instruments and equipment used by the Fort Wayne facility have been sent to the VA medical center in Marion for sterilization. Second and third floors will be added for patient care areas next.

In the existing building, work on the third-floor outpatient clinics will turn that space into specialty clinics, including for gastrointestinal medicine, urology and podiatry, and pre-op and post-op rooms for surgery patients.

VA Northern Indiana spokeswoman Teresa Calhoun said the inpatient floor will be done in two phases.

“That way we don’t close down any patient beds during construction,” she said.

Other proposed projects, dependent on VA budgets subject to congressional approval, include an emergency department and a parking garage.

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Information from: The Journal Gazette, https://www.journalgazette.net


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