SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - It's been years in the making, but a new VA Clinic is finally coming to Savannah.
The new clinic will replace the nearly 25 year old, 39,000 square foot facility off of Middleground Road. Veterans said they are ecstatic to get a new facility that can serve the increasing numbers of veterans needing care.
For 25 years, thousands of veterans have visited the VA Clinic off of Middleground Road for care, but being the sixth fastest growing VA medical center in the country for the number of individual patients. It was simply too small for its growing population.
“The parking is limited, the office space and heating and air and waiting areas and line formation, it is too small,” said veteran David Blitch. “Been here for 25 years and it is outdated. They don't have the room for what they need to do.”
“We have had significant growth over the past 10 years, so we are continuing to need more space to care for the veterans in Savannah, Hinesville, Charleston and Myrtle Beach,” said Public Affairs Officer Tonya Lobbestael. “So we need to build this space so we are happy this contract was awarded as of Dec. 31.
The U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs awarded the contract to Johnson Development of Birmingham, AL. They will build and manage the new 69,000 square feet facility that will be built on a property on Rio Road that is currently owned by Providence Presbyterian Church.
“We will have primary care, mental health care,” said Lobbestael. “We will also have our program continue there, and out home base unit based out of the Savannah Clinic. Optometry, digital radiology, physical therapy, laboratory and women's health. We will have other select specialty services. We are excited about that.”
Veterans said they are relieved to see a new clinic is actually coming to life.
“You get more and more people every year, and this facility gets more and more crowded,” said Blitch. “They started five, six years ago saying we are getting a new clinic, and now it looks like we are.”
The VA Medical Center Team plans on meeting with the developer in the next couple of weeks to go over the design of the clinic. They hope to have an official ground breaking sometime this year.
As for the church, they will be relocating and it said they are excited for the opportunity.