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Wisconsin veterans home gets funding for nursing center

KING, Wis. (AP) — A veterans home in central Wisconsin is getting $55 million in federal funding for a new nursing home and several maintenance projects.

Congress’ latest federal spending bill gives the Wisconsin Veterans Home in King $52 million for a new nursing home and $3 million for maintenance projects, Wisconsin Public Radio reported.

“There aren’t a ton of new construction projects for veterans homes that happen frequently, so this is really exciting for Wisconsin,” said Carla Vigue, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Veterans Affairs.

Gov. Scott Walker signed legislation in 2014 to build a new 200-bed facility at the home. The Veterans Affairs Department has since been on the waiting list for federal money.

The agency recently asked the state building commission for permission to start accepting bids for the project, Vigue said.

“I think part of the design of the building is intended to improve staffing,” Vigue said. “Some of our older buildings where there’s like multiple floors for nurses to cover, now it’s going to all be on one level.”

The state is also providing $28 million for the new building.

The center is expected to be completed by 2020.

The veterans home has been scrutinized in recent years. Legislative Audit Bureau reports last year discovered that funds were diverted away from the facility despite a backlog of maintenance projects and that the home had a shortage of nursing employees.

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