Some of new Illinois Veterans Home campus buildings to open next year

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Models have been created in Lippincott Hall to show what new living quarters at the Illinois Veterans Home will look like, starting next year. — Submitted photo.

QUINCY — Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs (IDVA) officials took a tour of the new buildings being constructed on the campus in the 12th and Locust neighborhood.

IDVA Director Terry Prince and Illinois Veterans Home Administrator Troy Culbertson provided an update of the $300 million reconstruction project, which includes the renovation and rehabilitation of the facility with a new 210-bed skilled care facility as well as 80 additional independent living domiciliary rooms.

Culbertson said the goal is to provide a state-of-the-art facility with single occupancy rooms and a more intimate setting for Illinois’ veterans needing skilled nursing care. The renovation is on track to be completed for the domiciliary by mid-2023 and the skilled nursing facility in 2024.

The project is a federal and state partnership and is part of Governor Pritzker’s Rebuild Illinois.

“Sixty-five percent of these funds are federal dollars coming from the US Department of Veterans Affairs, so that has enabled and increased the amount of capital through the Rebuild Illinois project,” Culbertson said.

There are 210 residents in the Fifer Dormitory and another 78 in Lester Hammond Hall at 720 Sycamore, which was completed in 2019.

“Our goal is to consolidate the Hammond Hall over on Sycamore into the new building, if possible, as well as our other outlying buildings,” Culbertson said. “Fifer will still be another outlying building, so we’ll have residents in two buildings on the main campus. We have other purposes for that Sycamore Street facility because it was constructed with USDVA funds and it’ll need to stay in DVA possession for at least another 37 years.”

Culbertson said today was an opportunity to give the entire community a chance to see what is being accomplished.

“We’ve had great investment from everybody involved in making these decisions,” he said. “They have fully invested in continuing the progress that we’ve got right now and we wanted to offer back to the community kind of an update on the project.”

Community members were able to tour mock ups of what the new new rooms will look like. They were built inside Lippincott Hall, a gymnasium/auditorium that was used for large events before the COVID-19 Pandemic.

“We have three rooms that have been constructed to the actual scale in that building…so we’re able to kind of showcase some of those ideas and show you what the inside of these resident rooms are going to look like next year and the year after,” Culbertson said. “These rooms are much larger and patterned after the U.S. DVA small homes model, which offers a more dignified lifestyle in a more intimate setting.”

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