$300 million upgrade for Canandaigua VA making big progress, despite pandemic


CANANDAIGUA (WROC) — The needs of veterans are unique due to all the different experiences they endure in service to our country. Many are served at the Veteran Affairs Medical Center in Canandaigua. Organizers there say a $300 million project is underway to upgrade the building that’s been around since the ’30s. One of the main goals – to make care feel more comfortable, modern, and less of an “institutionalized feeling.”

“There will be improved parking and centralization of outpatient services to help veterans easily find the service that they are looking for,” project director David Price said. “Our new long term care environments will be homelike, yet functional — providing private rooms and bathrooms.”

It’s a two phase project with a massive timeline dating back to 2008. Price says when he first came to the clinic twelve years ago, he was surprised to see how old the facility was, and said it felt limiting to him. This impression was one of the driving forces behind the improvement project.

“To provide modern health care you need a modern facility,” Price said.

The first phase includes upgrading the outpatient clinic, the second, upgrading the long-term care facility with new cottages for living, and new infrastructure. Price says the upgrades won’t compromise the historic nature of the campus. 

“Lot of infrastructure stuff, water utilities, cooling systems,” said Price.

The closest we can expect a major upgrade is 2022. That’s when Price says a new tower will be complete – something he calls the ‘center of outpatient care.’

“The biggest thing happening right now is that building, we’re going to see that develop quickly,” he said. “The center has primary care specialty care, radiology, dental care, our Veteran Service Center, so if you’re a new patient you go to that.”

Price says the pandemic has held up construction a little bit – with supply issues, and added protocols. He says phase two is set to be complete by 2024. Phase two includes the removal of two buildings where the old outpatient clinic is.

Price says no patients in long-term care will be disrupted during construction – they’ll simply move into the new cottages when they’re available. Phase one was awarded to the Pike/PJ Dick Joint Venture. Phase two was awarded to the Hueber-Breuer Construction and Pike Company Joint Venture.

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