PELL CITY, AL – Alabama has been awarded a $15 million grant to help pay for the construction of Alabama's fourth veterans home. The facility will be built in Pell City. Governor Bob Riley announced the grant Wednesday morning saying it would be coordinated through the Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs and was awarded by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
"We can never do enough for our veterans. Every day we live in freedom is a day made possible by America's veterans," said Governor Riley. "They deserve the best we can give them, and this new veterans home will be the best in the country. With this funding, we can move forward and begin construction before the end of this year."
The new veterans home is estimated to cost $50 million. Sixty-five percent of that amount -- $33 million -- will come from the federal VA. The required state matching grant of $17 million has already been provided by the state. At Governor Riley's urging, the Legislature committed those funds in 2008. The federal VA will provide the rest of its funding share in 2011.
The new state veterans home will be a state-of-the-art facility that will provide extended care for Alabama's growing veteran population. The home will have 254 private rooms that include 174 skilled-care beds and 80 domiciliary units all integrated into residential neighborhoods. Each neighborhood will have two to three houses with 12 to 14 private rooms, personal bathrooms and living rooms as well as dining areas with complete kitchens for serving meals.
The home will be built on 27 acres adjacent to the Jefferson State Community College campus in Pell City and across from a St. Vincent's Hospital that is planned for construction.
The grant allows the Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs to initiate the proposal process for the new home. Construction of the home will begin later this year.
In 2006, Governor Riley called for a study to determine the long-term needs of Alabama's veterans. That study showed there was a need for a fourth state veterans home in the Birmingham area.
The State Board of Veterans Affairs considered several locations and chose Pell City as the site for Alabama's fourth veterans home in January 2008.