January 30, 2013 - Construction has begun at the massive Veterans Affairs hospital complex in Mid-City, with pile-driving almost complete, officials told a New Orleans City Council committee on Wednesday. The roughly $1 billion project is scheduled to be finished by February 2016.
Mark Brideweser, the VA's project executive, said construction is underway on a central energy plant for the hospital, which will be located between Tulane Avenue and Canal Street on the blocks bounded by South Galvez and South Rocheblave streets. A recruitment center will be set up in the redesigned Pan American building located on the site, which should be open by the end of the year.
Julie Catellier, director of the Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care System, said along with the $995 million to build the hospital, there is another $700 million set aside to “breathe life into it,” which will include hiring scores of new employees.
The regional system provides services for veterans in 23 parishes, employing 1,250 people. Once the new hospital campus is finished, another 1,100 jobs will be added, Catellier said. read more>>>