$n$ VA awards Walsh Pacific with new outpatient construction

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The Department of Veterans Affairs has awarded an almost $23 million contract for construction of a new outpatient clinic on the grounds at the Jonathan M. Wainwright Memorial Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

Chicago-based Walsh Construction Co., doing business as Walsh Pacific, will build the roughly 70,000-square-foot, two-story clinic, said Brian Westfield, director of the Wainwright facility.

"This new clinic is a badly needed addition to this facility that will enable us to offer the best possible care for our area veterans," Westfield said in a prepared statement.

He said the new facility, to be constructed on what is now a parking lot just south of the Veterans Affairs chapel, will continue the VA's mission to provide exceptional health care that improves the health and well-being of American veterans.

It's also another step in a more than five-year process to revamp health care services at the VA's 88-acre Walla Walla campus.

In 2004, Walla Walla's VA hospital was threatened with closure as part of a national realignment plan for veterans medical services.

The new outpatient building will include a connecting quarter to the existing Building 86, which currently houses specialty care and other offices, said Linda Wondra, public affairs officer for the Wainwright medical center.

Construction is not expected to begin until next spring, Wondra said. Walsh Pacific will build the new clinic with 175 parking spaces.

The contract includes associated site work related to campuswide upgrades to antiquated utility distribution systems, according to the announcement.

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