Contractor: New Veterans Administration Hospital in Aurora over budget

AURORA, Colo. - The Department of Veterans Affairs is demanding a construction company prove a new veterans' hospital is over budget.

Original estimates for construction topped $1 billion. However, in 2009, Congress set aside $568.4 million for construction.

Kiewit-Turner is now telling federal officials the $600 million Aurora hospital will still cost more than $1 billion to finish. The VA's own website on the hospital plan says calls it an $800 million facility. Kiewit-Turner told a federal board it has to stop working until the VA redesigns its hospital to fit the budget or until it finds more money from Congress.

According to the Denver Post, the Veterans Administration has rejected the contractor's demands to be let out of the building contract.

The new hospital is being built on the University of Colorado medical campus in Aurora. When announcing the hospital plan in 2009, officials said the hospital would offer Denver-area veterans a full range of medical, laboratory, research and counseling services, including services for veterans with spinal cord injuries and other disabilities.

The 200-bed hospital was originally expected to open in the summer of 2013. The current plan calls for the hospital to open in 2015.

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