Construction moving on veterans' nursing home



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CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Clarksville's long effort to get a skilled nursing home for veterans is getting closer to reality as construction takes shape on grounds of the newest facility in the Tennessee State Veterans' Home network.

The Leaf-Chronicle (http://leafne.ws/PYCxyr ) quotes officials as saying that construction on the nearly $27 million facility is expected to be substantially completed in January of next year. Officials say the first residents could be admitted as early as March.

There has been a long push for the veterans' nursing home here because Clarksville is so close to the Fort Campbell Army base and is home to many retired and active-duty soldiers.

"It's exciting to see this facility coming out of the ground," Montgomery County Mayor Carolyn Bowers said during a presentation on construction efforts made to members of the local Veterans' Nursing Home Ad Hoc Committee. "It's been in planning and development for a long time."

The Clarksville facility will be one of four dedicated nursing homes for veterans around the state included in the veterans' home network. The other facilities are already in operation and are located in Murfreesboro, Knoxville and Humboldt, said Ed Harries, executive director of the network.

The facility is going to be made up of duplexes on nearly 10 acres of land that will provide beds for up to 108 veterans and jobs for up to 180 people, network officials said.

"The contractors are building one duplex at a time," said Taylor Wyrick, director of Plant Operations for the network. "Each duplex consists of two 12-bedroom houses that are all connected."

There will be a dining room and living room in each 12-bedroom side of the duplexes. Patients with Alzheimer's disease will be housed in specific areas where they can be served by specially trained staff.

Cleveland, Tenn., is trying to get the funding to build its own network facility, Harries said, and it's possible that two facilities could be coming to serve the large veteran population in Memphis, the state's most-populated city.

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Information from: The Leaf-Chronicle, http://www.theleafchronicle.com

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

The Associated Press

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