AURORA, Colo. — Over budget and behind schedule, the Aurora VA hospital is tacking on an additional $7 million to bring the new facility up to code.
According to a memo sent Monday to the House Committee on Veteran Affairs, VA officials say they are not seeking additional funds, but the current estimate for the completion contract has increased by $7.4 million.
Back in January, the U.S. Government Accountability Office blasted VA officials for ignoring best practices when it put together a $341 million estimate for new furniture and equipment to finalize the center for its opening.
Rep. Mike Coffman said in a release Wednesday that the latest new expense request is unacceptable:
Yet again, my office has been informed that the construction of the Rocky Mountain Regional VA Medical Center in Aurora is the subject of cost overruns. Contract B, the work necessary to bring the ‘new’ hospital up to code & safety standards, is 70% over budget. It’s unacceptable and the reason why we need a VA Secretary who is willing to be Marine Corps tough in cleaning up the leadership of this organization. Our Veterans and taxpayers deserve better.
The hospital, which is more than $1 billion over budget, is scheduled to open this July, but there are concerns that the new facility will have just more than half the number of outpatient exam rooms that the current Denver facility has.