Leeward Oahu VA Clinic Project Clears Key Hurdle Following Hirono Advocacy
Congressional Approval Advances Construction of New Oahu Outpatient Clinic to Serve Over 25,000 Veterans
WASHINGTON, D.C.- Senator Mazie K. Hirono applauded the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works’ approval of a resolution to allow the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to move forward with the solicitation of a lease for the future Leeward Oahu VA Outpatient Clinic.
“I thank my colleagues on the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works for their approval of a resolution that brings us closer to making the Leeward Oahu VA project a reality,” said Senator Hirono. “Hawaii veterans deserve better access to the care and benefits they have earned, and I will continue to work to ensure this project is completed as soon as possible.”
The resolution was unanimously approved by the committee, and grants the General Services Administration (GSA) the approval to exceed the federal annual lease threshold for the clinic, also known as the Advance Leeward Outpatient Healthcare Access (ALOHA) center. Currently the lease is estimated to be $3.4 million annually, exceeding the GSA threshold of $2.5 million in annual un-serviced rent for federal lease solicitations. The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee approved a similar resolution last year.
“Much appreciation to Sen. Hirono for leading the way with Sen. Schatz, Rep. Gabbard, and Rep. Hanabusa in enacting these special legislative and administrative measures to permit the VA to proceed with the lease solicitation bringing this important project even closer to fruition for our Veterans,” said Ron Han, Director of the State of Hawaii Office of Veterans Services.
As a member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, Senator Hirono has been a longtime advocate for the ALOHA project, which was originally spearheaded by former Senator Daniel K. Akaka. In March 2017, Senator Hirono led a letter to the Environment and Public Works Committee from Hawaii’s Congressional Delegation calling for the resolution’s expeditious approval. In addition, Senator Hirono secured $15.8 million for the project’s authorization in the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act, which was signed into law in 2014.
According to the VA, the project lease award is expected to be made in 2018 with completion estimated in 2020.
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