SAN DIEGO — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ South Pacific Division commander met June 28 with the Corps and Department of Veterans Affairs teams working together on key projects at the VA San Diego Health Care System campus.
Brig. Gen. Antoinette Gant, who last visited about a year ago, joined the Los Angeles District and Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Construction and Facilities Management project delivery team to see the progress on the new Spinal Cord Injury/Community Living Center and seven-story parking structure.
“This is amazing work that this team is doing, and it’s because of their partnership with each other,” Gant said. “It’s all about the (Construction and Facilities Management) and the Corps of Engineers collaborating, communicating and working through issues to make sure that, ultimately, the professionals at the VA campus here are getting what they need to serve the veterans.”
The Spinal Cord Injury/Community Living Center facility, which is slated to open in fall 2024, is designed to provide care to veterans and active-duty personnel with spinal cord injuries and disorders who live in San Diego and Imperial counties in California, and in Arizona and southern Nevada. The new facility, which is replacing the current building at the campus, will be a 197,000-square-foot, four-story standalone structure.
“I’m very pleased, and I’m very glad I got to come down here today,” Gant said. “We’ve got some true rockstars on both sides of the fence here. Having them both here together, I don’t think we could have had any better type of time to be put together. They truly are professionals in what they do, and that’s what we want: to be world-class professionals about what we deliver to any customer we have.”
Joining Gant on the walkthrough were Col. Julie Balten, the LA District commander, and Justin Gay, the district deputy engineer.
“It’s been a really great opportunity to show her the incredible progress the team has made for our veterans on this project, and we get to highlight the incredible work the team is doing and the collaborative effort in which they’re doing it,” Balten said.
Balten added the team is poised to deliver the parking structure on time, if not early, and although there is about a 12 percent time growth overall due to certain design challenges, “the team has been working really well to keep that to a minimum.”
“There’s always challenges on any job site and construction project, but this team is really collaborating to deliver,” she said.
“It’s still not done, but we are where we should be, and it’s amazing to see,” Gant said. “This is what happens when you have both teams fully committed to what the end product should be.”