Vets, neighbors react to final VA hospital plan

After years of debate and controversy, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs made its final decision for a new Louisville VA Hospital and it's the same decision they originally made.

LOUISVILLE (WHAS) -- After years of debate and controversy, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs made its final decision for a new Louisville VA Hospital and it's the same decision they originally made.

“At this point it is what it is,” said Emily Pirraglia, neighbor.

When Pirraglia bought her home in the quiet Crossgate Subdivision, she never thought this would happen.

“We knew it was a possibility but back then we thought no way...it wouldn't happen,” she said.

But it did happen.  A final decision from Washington D.C. means this empty lot that butts up against Pirraglia's property will be the new site of Louisville's VA hospital.

“I still wish they would've chose some other site,” said Joe Doebler, AMVETS executive director.

Doebler is the executive director of Kentucky's AMVETS organization.  The group represents thousands of veterans across the state.  He says the majority of them are not happy with the final decision but they know it's necessary.

“What else can you do?  There's no other options.  The building is going to be built where it's going to be built,” Doebler said.

The final design will have 104 hospital beds and parking for 2,600 cars--a major upgrade from the current facility at Zorn Avenue. 

“The design is already done.  They're going to move forward with construction bids and we ought to see some activity here in a relatively short period of time,” said Rep. John Yarmuth.

And even though it's activity that's not exactly welcomed by neighbors like Pirraglia, they know it's happening whether they like it or not.

The hospital is set to be complete by 2023 or 2024.
 

© 2017 WHAS-TV


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