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$60 milion Jones and Cabacoy Veterans Care Center opening in 2021

Construction on the $60 million Jones and Cabacoy Veterans Care Center was set to begin this fall.

That has changed.

A state official tells the Sun that as federal and state funding for the project fall into place, it the center's total number of patient beds has increased from its initial 120 to 128; and there will be additional amenities.

Construction is now slated to begin in July, with a grand opening around Veterans Day of 2021.

Here's some background information on the center:

With an anticipated total cost, including design, construction, furniture, fixtures and equipment, of about $60 million, plus $20 million annually for maintenance and some 200 staff members. Ground was broken on the project in November of 2017.

Virginia Beach was selected to receive the center because of its veteran population base, the availability of emergency and other community services and on how well the facility's construction would fit in with the local community environment.

Located in Princess Anne on 25 acres of city-donated land, sitting in a quiet wooded area, bordered by Nimmo Parkway Extended, North Landing Road and West Neck Road, the center is named in honor of local war heroes, Colonel William A. Jones III and Sergeant Christopher F. Cabacoy.

A Norfolk native, Jones was an air commando who was awarded the Medal of Honor in 1970, by President Nixon, for his service in the Vietnam War.

Cabacoy, a Virginia Beach native, died in 2010 while serving in Kandahar, Afghanistan, during Operation Enduring Freedom.

The center will provide three main types of veterans care: Skilled nursing; Alzheimer’s, memory and dementia care; and short-term rehab for patients who need a special treatment bridge before being released from other medical facilities and going home.

A new patient application period will begin “a few months” prior to the facility opening its doors, and after it opens, it will take 18 to 20 months for it to reach full occupancy, at an admittance rate of eight to 10 patients a month; sometimes veterans can be placed in as little as a day's time.

To be eligible for admission, veterans must be honorably discharged from the military and have a connection to the state of Virginia at the time of their admission, such as, having a family relationship with a Virginia resident or with someone from Virginia who entered military service.

Veterans will also have to show that they're in need of a particular service or treatment that the center provides.

Virginia is home to two other facilities like the one on the horizon in Virginia Beach, one in Roanoke and one in Richmond; a fourth one is under construction in Fauquier County.

Each resident gets a private room with its own bath and the rooms are organized into eight, 16-room community households, joined together by a "Main Street." Common areas will be used for large group activities, such as concerts, game and movie nights.

Pilotonline.Com contributed to this report.

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