VHA moving to Iowa City Federal Building
April 11, 2017
April 11, 2017
IOWA CITY, IOWA -- The Veterans Health Administration is opening a new community clinic and moving more than 150 workers into the Iowa City Federal Building -- taking over the space recently vacated by the U.S. Postal Service.
GSA project managers expect construction activities to start in June and occupancy to begin in July 2018.
“This is the first time GSA’s Region 6 has completed a project of this scale that involves clinical space, and is one of the few projects like this that GSA has done nationwide,” said GSA Project Manager Jeffory Meyer. “We’re excited to get construction started following several months of planning and design.”
The Veterans Administration (VA) Central Iowa Health Campus is becoming overcrowded, and moving some of their departments to the federal building will enable VHA to expand and increase the quality of their service. Departments making the move from the hospital to the federal building include:
- a dental clinic and dental laboratory;
- physical therapy and rehabilitation services;
- prosthetics and a prosthetics laboratory;
- education services;
- information technology (IT); and,
- a compensation and pension clinic.
“Moving these services to the federal building will allow VA to expand their offerings at the hospital while making the best use of taxpayer money,” said GSA space management specialist Charles McBroom. “Reusing space already owned by the federal government is significantly less expensive than leasing a custom designed clinic; and, increasing the VA’s presence in the downtown area should aid in fostering economic development.”
The post office moved from the Iowa City Federal Building to southeast Iowa City’s Pepperwood Plaza in 2015, leaving the federal building with a 61 percent vacancy rate. VHA’s decision to reuse the empty space will return the facility to full occupancy.
“Without this project, the federal building would have fallen into the category of a ‘poor performing asset’ and GSA most likely would have looked to transfer or sell the property,” said Meyer. “This is a win for VHA, and a win for GSA, and a win for taxpayers.”
Funding for the renovation of the federal building is provided, in part, through a GSA initiative to consolidate space. Numerous projects from across the country competed for consolidation funding, and this project is the first in GSA’s Heartland Region to be selected.
GSA oversaw the completion of in-depth architectural programming services, master planning services, and schematic design for the entire project. The project will be completed in two phases to allow some VA operations to move before final completion.
The Veterans Health Administration is the largest integrated health care system in the United States, providing care at 1,233 health care facilities, including 168 VA Medical Centers and 1,053 outpatient sites of care of varying complexity (VHA outpatient clinics), serving more than 8.9 million Veterans each year.