Kim Justice, veterans home coordinator for the Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs Office in Montgomery, said work is moving forward as planned at the new veterans home in Pell City.
She said officials anticipate completing construction this summer. Once construction is complete, workers will move furniture into the 240,000-square foot facility in preparation for residents.
The Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs has also moved forward with setting up management for the new facility.
Manda Mountain was hired as the new director for the veterans home.
“She has a lot of experience,” Justice said.
Mountain took a Leadership St. Clair County group through the new facility last week.
“All the rooms are single occupancy,” Mountain said, as she guided the first group of St. Clair County residents on the tour of the new state-of-the-art veterans home.
She said the facility has an assisted living unit, skilled nursing unit and a more secure memory care unit for veterans.
“We have secured courtyards throughout the campus,” Mountain said.
The veterans home has a town center, highlighted by a large rock fireplace.
The new facility features a sports cafe and the larger Eagles Landing Dining Hall in the town hall center.
There are also neighborhood kitchens and common areas where residents can meet for lunch, watch television or play a game of cards.
“You don’t have to go to the central dining area to eat,” Mountain said. “Each building can function by itself.”
St. Clair County Commission Chairman Stan Batemon, who played a part in attracting state VA officials to Pell City, said the new facility will offer a more “home-like” atmosphere for veterans.
“Veterans should feel at home here,” he said. “It’s really going to be neat, but you still have nursing care close by.”
The new St. Vincent’s St. Clair Hospital, which opened in December 2011, is directly across the street from the veterans home. The facility sits on a 27-acre site in the 160-acre St. Clair County Economic Development Council’s Education and Health Care Campus, which also includes the 55-acre Jefferson State Community College campus.
Officials say the new state-of-the-art veterans home is the first of its kind, with more open space for veterans.
Justice said HMR Veterans Services, Inc. was awarded the contract to manage the new facility.
HMR Veterans Services, which is headquarters in Anderson, SC., specializes in maintaining and operating state veterans homes in South Carolina, Maryland and Alabama.
The company manages all veterans homes in Alabama, which include facilities in Huntsville, Bay Minette and Alexander City.
Justice said HMR Veterans Services is in the process of hiring personnel for the new facility.
Officials estimate the veterans home will create about 300 new jobs.
Batemon said the St. Clair County EDC still has about 50 acres of property in the Education and Health Care Campus to develop.
Justice said the Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs will start accepting applications from veterans for the new home soon.
She said the new application will soon be available on the Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs website at www.va.state.al.us/
People may also go to the Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs website for additional information about the jobs available at the new veterans home in Pell City.
Contact David Atchison at email@example.com