Tennessee Department of Veterans Services Commissioner Many-Bears Grinder and Tennessee Department of General Services Deputy Commissioner John Hull in partnership with the Tennessee State Veterans Home Executive Director Ed Harries on Friday ceremonially accepted the donated property at 1960 Westland Drive in Cleveland for the future Bradley County Tennessee State Veterans Home.
“I know this has been a long and challenging journey for all of our local partners,” Commissioner Grinder said. “However, today is a day to celebrate their hard work, unwavering commitment and generosity which we believe will one day culminate in the establishment of a Tennessee State Veterans Home in Cleveland.”
State officials recognized land donors Robert Wright, Steve and Thomas Williams as well as trustees of the American Legion Post 81 for their donation.
“It took several years and several phases of collaboration and partnership to reach this milestone,” Mr. Hull said. “We are grateful for the patience and perseverance of all of our local partners to endure the change in federal floor plans, rising construction costs and the processes of state and federal government.”
Since 2004, the Southeast Tennessee Veterans Home Council was established to lead the community effort that has led to millions of dollars in local donations, the property donation and continues to raise awareness about the pending project within the Cleveland and Bradley County areas. The community based council is co-chaired by Cid Heidel and Bradley County Commissioner Mark Hall. The future Bradley County Tennessee State Veterans Home is estimated to cost $40,345,020 to construct. The City of Cleveland and Bradley County have each donated $2,010,010. State appropriations for the project include $7,100,000. An anonymous donor has also contributed $3,000,000. The estimated federal funding needed for construction is $26,225,000. The future project is currently number 66 on the fiscal year 2016 United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) State Home Construction Grants Priority 1 list.
“We believe the commitment of this community shows tremendous perseverance and a show of support for residents when the home is opened in the future,” Mr. Harries said. “Partnerships are what make our residents feel at home and they will certainly be at home in Cleveland.”
Rep. Kevin Brooks (R-Cleveland), Rep. Dan Howell (R-Georgetown), Senator Todd Gardenhire (R-Chattanooga), Senator Mike Bell (R-Riceville), Cleveland Mayor Tom Rowland and Bradley County Mayor D. Gary Davis have been continued partners in supporting this future project and attended the ceremonial announcement of the acceptance of the site.
The future facility includes 108 beds in nine separate homes. Each home includes separate cottages with individual kitchens, fireplaces and a central lounge area.
Click here to view photos of the design for the future Bradley County Tennessee State Veterans Home.