Veteran’s clinic could be open within a month

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 31, 2008


Editor and Publisher

LAPLACE – The second leg in the growing veteran’s support services being housed in St. John Parish is within weeks of being open for business.

The VA Medical Clinic, being constructed in Reserve right next to the Southeast Louisiana War Veteran’s Home, could be finished as early as the end of February, according to Senior Project Manager Barry Hall with Modular Space Corp.

The clinic will provide medical care for veteran’s in the entire region, providing a state-of-the-art facility for their first stop care.

The modular building went up quickly due to the advantages of that form of construction. The project was only begun this past fall with site work, and the actual building was shipped in on trucks for construction in November.

“It only took about two days to put all the pieces together,” Hall said. “The cost of doing a building that way isn’t necessarily far more inexpensive than conventional construction, but the cost savings is in the time you save to finish the job.”

Hall said that they were still working on some of the plans for the building, including some revisions, while site work was being done, something that can’t happen with normal construction.

He hopes the clinic will be finished by the end of February or early March, putting them pretty close to the original schedule which had a February completion date.

The clinic is 10,000 square feet and is only for initial visits of veteran’s who need medical care. No x-ray machines or other testing equipment will be there for followup care. Those patients will be sent to other places for further medical work once the initial diagnosis is done here at the Reserve clinic.

The only work left is for the parking lot to be finished, and there was a slight delay there, said Hall, since there were some problems with the soil condition that required some additional testing.

“We ended up putting lime in before bringing the dirt in just to ensure the soil is right,” he added. “But we’re back moving forward now.”

One special feature the clinic has is a plug-in area for a temporary generator should the clinic lose power for a long period of time, such as from a hurricane.

“We can just wheel in this large generator and plug it in. It will power the entire building,” he explained.