A new veterans center planned for Hardin County will be just the fourth such facility in the state, and will offer long-term care in a region known for its close ties to the military.
State and local leaders were in Radcliff Wednesday to honor the official groundbreaking for the center that has been seven years in the making. With a planned opening in June, 2015, the project will feature a dozen ten-person homes, and will provide full nursing services to 120 veterans.
Those who helped design the Hardin County facility say it will offer residents a degree of autonomy not often found in nursing homes.
“They will be able to design their own rooms as far as how they decorate the room,” said Gilda Hill, Executive Director of the Office of Kentucky Veterans Centers. “They are welcome to bring their own furniture if they like, if that will make them feel more at home. They will tell us when they want to eat breakfast, when they want to bathe, and when they want to go out of the building for visits.”
The Radcliff Veterans Center will sit on 195 acres of land donated by the Defense Department.
Speaking at Wednesday’s ceremony, Governor Steve Beshear pointed out there is a great need for the kinds of services that be provided at the Radcliff Veterans Center.
Work has begun on a veteran's center planned in Hardin County even though officials are still awaiting final approval from federal officials.
Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs Commissioner Ken Lucas told The News-Enterprise that the project in Radcliff has gotten preliminary approval and there's no indication that it won't get final approval soon.
A construction bid for the Radcliff Veterans Center nursing facility has already been awarded and excavation at the site, which is adjacent to the Kentucky Veterans Cemetery-Central, is underway.
Lucas says the final cost of the facility is estimated at $40 million, with the state paying 35% and the federal government paying 65%.
He said it will be the fourth nursing center in Kentucky authorized specifically for veterans.
Military veterans who are renewing Kentucky driver's licenses will be able to have a special designation printed on the license. The General Assembly this year authorized the designation, and the required programming for circuit court clerks' offices was finished on Monday.
Governor Steve Beshear is announcing a statewide plan to connect returning members of the Reserve, the National Guard, and other veterans with job openings in Kentucky. The program is called "Hiring Kentucky Heroes."