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VETS HOME CONSTRUCTION IN WEST L.A. SET FOR 2007.

Byline: Charles F. Bostwick Staff Writer

State officials hope to begin construction in three years on a state veterans home on the grounds of the U.S. Veterans Affair's West Los Angeles health center.

State and federal officials are discussing the size and configuration of the home, which state officials propose at 400 beds but which federal officials said should have no more than 240 beds, California's top veterans official said Thursday.

``We are facing these limitations on what they're going to fund,'' said Tom Johnson, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's newly appointed Department of Veterans Affairs secretary.

Construction of the West Los Angeles home, as well as smaller homes proposed in Lancaster in the Antelope Valley and in Saticoy in Ventura County, is scheduled to begin in June 2007 at a combined cost of $154 million.

The Lancaster and Saticoy homes, which would be completed in September 2008, would have room for 60 veterans each in two- and three-bed ``suites,'' plus ``adult day care'' facilities for 50 more veterans who'd live in their own homes.

The West Los Angeles home, which would be finished in summer 2009, would have convalescent hospital wards for veterans, including a ward for veterans with dementia, plus suites for veterans who don't need hospital care.

Johnson, whose appointment in February made him California's fourth VA chief in five years, and other officials visited Lancaster, Ventura County and West Los Angeles as part of a Southern California tour Thursday to the three veterans home sites.

The three homes are to be financed with federal aid plus money from a $50 million veterans-home bond approved by California voters in 2000.

The West Los Angeles home was recommended by a state commission in 2001 that said future state veterans homes should be built near federal veterans hospitals.

Because the voter-approved bond money must be used first on Lancaster and the Ventura County homes, compromise legislation worked out in 2002 called for building the Lancaster and Ventura County homes simultaneously with a larger one in West Los Angeles.

Charles F. Bostwick, (661) 267-5741

chuck.bostwick(at)dailynews.com
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Article Type:Statistical Data Included
Date:Jun 18, 2004
Words:348
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