The biggest construction failure in VA history began with a handwritten note signed two days before Veterans Day 2011.
The VA Hospital original budget was $582.8 Million and were now over $1.7 Billion dollars. The project was to be completed in 2014 and is now scheduled for completion at the end of 2017.
Is it any wonder why the money does not get to where it counts! That is the caregiver, and the veteran patient.
On that Nov. 9, project officials from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs were locked in a 7½-hour meeting with executives from Kiewit-Turner, the construction team tapped to build a hospital in Aurora for the agency.
The purpose was to settle on a final price, but negotiations had not gone well.
When KT joined the project more than a year earlier, the estimated cost to build it was $582.8 million, with the goal of finishing the medical complex in 2014. But after several months of pre-construction work, KT executives were convinced the figure was too low.
So the two sides put together what became known as “The Book,” a paint-by-numbers guide that spelled out a plan to build the hospital for $604 million. In it, KT agreed to the price but insisted on design changes and other allowances to reduce costs.
But a key VA executive found those terms unacceptable.
Chris Kyrgos, who helped run the Aurora project from Washington, D.C., had flown in for the Colorado meeting. He had not looked at the book — as he would later testify in a lawsuit arising from the project — but he insisted the document be thrown out.
“This is for health care,” Kyrgos testified. “This is something the VA cannot sacrifice.” He walked out of the meeting at one point, threatening to call off the talks and find another contractor.
This gets worse and you'll find the rest of the story shocking. For more on this report click on the link that follows: