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Groundbreaking marks key milestone for Nevada veterans home

SPARKS — Veterans with Nevada roots who need residential care often find themselves stuck outside the state.

One of those is Ernest Kimball, an Air Force veteran who lived in Nevada for 35 years and wants to come back home. He lives in a California veterans home, but he wants to live in the Northern Nevada State Veterans Home.

“I have heard they are building a State Veterans Home at Sparks,” Kimball wrote in a July 5 letter to Nevada-based veterans officials. “As the state song goes, ‘Home means Nevada,’ I would like to end my days in the Silver State.”

State officials broke ground Monday on what will be a 96-bed veterans home in Sparks.

“This was truly a team win and a Nevada family win because it took everybody to make today a reality,” Sandoval told hundreds of veterans, legislators and other dignitaries gathered under a tent for the occasion.

The ceremony marked a milestone years in the making. Gov. Brian Sandoval has pushed for state funding to start the project, and the Legislature first passed a bill in 2013 to kickstart the design and planning of the facility. The final step in the legislative process was approved during the session that ended last month.

Construction on the 102,000-square-foot facility is expected to be complete in December 2018. The project will cost about $47 million. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs will cover 65 percent of the project cost; state funding will cover the remaining 35 percent.

About 80,000 veterans live in northern Nevada, but the region has never had a veterans facility. Boulder City has a 180-bed veterans home that is at capacity.

“Veterans will have a home right here where they belong and where they want to stay,” said U.S. Sen. Dean Heller.

The home, Sandoval said, is “going to take care of our heroes and take care of those who dedicated their lives to serving our country.”

About the Northern Nevada State Veterans Home

  • 96 beds
  • 102,000 square feet
  • 125 permanent jobs created
  • $47 million total cost
  • $14.4 million annual local economic boost

Sources: Nevada Department of Veterans Services, Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development.

  • More information: For information about admission to the new veterans home when it’s finished, contact Wendy Simons, Deputy Director of Wellness for the Nevada Department of Veterans Services at 775-825-9751 or via email at simons@veterans.nv.gov.

Contact Ben Botkin at bbotkin@reviewjournal.com or 775-461-0661. Follow @BenBotkin1 on Twitter.

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