- The Department of Veterans Affairs sent a memo to Congress Monday saying it will only continue working on the Aurora, CO, hospital complex — which has been plagued by cost overruns — if the spending cap for the 13-building project is increased by $200 million to $1 billion this week.
- The VA proposed its own contribution of $150 million, which it would move from another part of its fiscal budget. Officials also offered to scrap two planned buildings in the complex: a community living center and a post-traumatic stress disorder residential clinic.
- The project has been under a bridge contract due to end May 24. The increase in funds would extend the deadline until officials and legislators can decide on a permanent solution.
This project has a history of troubles. News broke in March that construction on the hospital had ended up $1 billion over its initial $600 million budget. Shortly after, Glenn Haggstrom, chief of the VA Office of Acquisition, Logistics and Construction, was asked to step down amid the criticism.
In April, the VA proposed tapping a $5 billion fund earmarked for improvements at clinics nationwide to offset the cost overruns. Congress, however, has said there will be a negative impact for veterans in other states if money is moved from that fund to pay for the Colorado facility. Builder Kiewit-Turner said it had a right to stop work on the project in December when the VA was found to be in breach of its contract, and will reportedly stop work again if the cap isn't raised.