VA construction program ‘a disaster,’ says congressman

Colorado hospital more than $1 billion over budget

March 28, 2015 |
VA construction program ‘a disaster,’ says congressman

The 182-bed Aurora, Colo., hospital has incurred more than $1 billion in cost overruns. The Army Corps of Engineers has taken over the management of the project. Rendering: VA

The VA construction program took more hits recently after the chairman of a congressional Committee on Veterans’ Affairs called an Aurora, Colo., hospital project “a disaster,” and a key VA official resigned abruptly.

The 182-bed Aurora hospital has incurred more than $1 billion in cost overruns. The Army Corps of Engineers has taken over the management of the project. Colorado Rep. Mike Coffman, chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Oversight and Investigation Subcommittee, said the breakdown was due to “pure incompetence.” Democrats on that committee last week proposed stripping the VA of any construction authority.

Contractor Kiewit-Turner ceased construction on the Aurora hospital in December after the United States Civilian Board of Contract Appeals determined that the VA breached its contract by failing to provide a design that could be built for $582,840,000.

Rep. Jeff Miller called for the agency to fire the executives responsible for construction of VA hospitals. Amid this controversy, Glenn Haggstrom, principal executive director of the Office of Acquisition, Logistics and Construction with the VA abruptly resigned his post.

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