The Union Recorder

August 23, 2013

CSH authority exploring Veterans Home expansion

Kyle Collins
The Union-Recorder

MILLEDGEVILLE — Central State Hospital Local Redevelopment Authority (CSHLRA) believes in growing possibilities at the Georgia War Veterans Home (GWVH). 

Retired Maj. Gen. Peter Boylan, former Georgia Military College president, has a vision to expand the veterans served by improving the local facility and developing residences for visitors. 

Recently, Boylan met with Gov. Nathan Deal’s wife Sandra.

“Mrs. Deal expressed strong interest in supporting the veterans initiatives,” Boylan said Wednesday. “We have the GWVH and a significant number of veterans who live here, many of whom are disabled and some of whom are homeless.”

Presently, the local veterans home houses 223 individuals. Boylan said there is room for 100 more if the Vinson Building were rehabilitated, which costs $1.2 million.

“It would cost the state $2 million in appropriations to support the care of an additional 100 veterans,” Boylan said.

The current veterans home population represents 60 Georgia counties.

Providing room for visiting friends and family is a large part of this push.

Boylan and GWVH leadership began research into the number of visitors and how long they stay. This idea gels with the CSHLRA building repurpose plans.

Using a nearby Central State facility to house these visitors staying overnight makes perfect sense, according to Boylan.

This follows the Fisher House army initiative.

“Many of the medical centers around the Unites States have what’s called a Fisher House where people can stay when they come to visit their veteran,” the general said. “I think we can do the same thing.”

State Sen. Jack Hill (R-Reidsville) of Georgia’s District 4 chairs the chamber’s appropriations committee.

Boylan said Hill is sympathetic to what’s going on in Milledgeville.

State Rep. Terry England (R-Winder) with House appropriations could assist the veteran expansion also.

“With Mrs. Deal’s help, I think all of this is possible. It’s going to take a little bit of time, but with cooperation and the support of everyone in this room we can make it happen,” said Boylan.

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