GSA Brings Building Expertise to Veterans Home Project in Mississippi

Video Length: 1 minute 25 seconds

GSA Administrator Martha Johnson honored the nation’s military veterans and expressed the agency’s commitment to meet their needs during a ceremony celebrating the reopening of a home for armed forces retirees destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.

Following the destruction of the Armed Forces Retirement Home in Gulfport, Miss., GSA was designated to lead the reconstruction effort on behalf the Department of Defense. GSA brought its vast building and design expertise to the construction project.

“Standing at this new facility, I am proud to lead the General Services Administration,” Johnson said at the Nov. 9 ceremony. “… I can think of few better ways to honor the service of the veterans who live and will live here than to provide them with these beautiful, functional, well-designed, new buildings overlooking this tremendous vista.”
The original facility was so badly damaged by the 2005 storm that Congress appropriated $240 million to raze the old structure and build a new facility. The new home officially opened last month and provides independent living, assisted living, and long-term care to nearly 600 residents.

GSA strove to hire local small businesses to work on the project. The agency hired Yates Construction, a local business, to build the new home; and the MaChis Lower Creek Indian Tribe of nearby Samson, Ala., did the demolition work on the old structure.

GSA has helped veterans for several years. In 2007, the agency launched a governmentwide acquisition contract that gives special preference to information technology companies owned by service-disabled veterans, and its 21-Gun Salute initiative supports a 2004 executive order calling for increased federal hiring of veterans.

“For veterans who served their country often in the crucible of war, it is only fitting that we now serve them with a peaceful, healthy, and safe sanctuary,” said Johnson.

Armed Forces Retirement Home is an independent organization within the executive branch of the federal government. It operates two retirement homes for U.S. military veterans, the historic Soldiers' and Airmen’s Home in Washington, D.C., and the facility in Gulfport.

Read more about Armed Forces Retirement Home>>

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