Friday, October 19

VA seeks to develop master plan to revitalize West LA campus

The United States Department of Veterans Affairs chose three firms Thursday to form a master plan intended to revitalize its West Los Angeles campus.

The VA chose design firm HOK and construction firms The Walsh Group and Core Companies to create a master plan due Oct. 16 that the VA hopes will prioritize permanent and transitional housing for all veterans, according to a press release.

The campus, which is located west of UCLA, provides medical services to veterans throughout Los Angeles county.

In January, the VA agreed to improve services and add permanent housing to the West Los Angeles campus after disabled veterans filed a lawsuit accusing the VA of poorly maintaining its facilities.

Chancellor Gene Block and VA Secretary Robert McDonald met last week to discuss the revitalization of the VA campus, said UCLA spokesperson Tod Tamberg in an email statement.

He added UCLA officials were invited to work closely with the VA during the campus’s renovations and look forward to discussing plans to include Jackie Robinson Stadium in the master plan.

According to the press release, the VA chose HOK because it has experience with medical campus and facility planning projects. The Walsh Group has been working on VA construction projects for over 20 years and is currently working on developments to the VA Loma Linda Healthcare Center.

Core Companies is known for developing low-cost housing and partnerships with public agencies and nonprofit organizations, according to the press release. It will complete a 60-unit veteran housing community in VA Palo Alto Health Care System’s Menlo Park Campus later this year.

Over the next three months, the VA will ask for feedback from veteran, federal, state and local stakeholders, community partners and other organizations as the team works on the plan.

Congressman Ted Lieu said in a press release he supports the firms chosen and the VA’s decision to prioritize housing and serving veterans. He added he will work with the new team as the master plan develops.

After the team completes the plan, the VA may request that the team begin to construct residential buildings on the north side of the campus, according to the VA’s plan.

Compiled by Roberto Luna Jr., Bruin senior staff.

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