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BUTNER, NC (JUNE 19, 2017) The Town of Butner has posted a request for proposals for construction of the Veterans Life Center, a 44,000-square-foot facility for 21st century war veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress or otherwise having difficulty reintegrating into civilian life.  The center is the first of its kind anywhere.  The bid was advertised in the News & Observer yesterday (June 18).

Design-Build construction firms have until August 9, 2017 to submit their proposals.  The Design Criteria Package may be acquired by contacting David R. Black, AIA, at dblack@hagersmith.com.

Financing for the construction is being provided by a $7.8 million Community Development Block Grant issued by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development and administered by the North Carolina Department of Commerce.  The Town of Butner is the grantee, with the Veterans Life Center, which holds a lease from the state on the property, as sub-recipient.

At full capacity, the facility will have approximately 150 beds, mostly in double rooms, with showers and bathroom facilities in each of the four wings.  There will be a full commercial kitchen with servery and dining room, plus a large multipurpose room, three day rooms, a library, a computer lab, a conference room, store, dispensary, nurse/first aid room and two laundry rooms as well as various storage and mechanical rooms and office space for a staff of 30 or more. The building will sit on a handsome 9.5-acre site at the corner of 9th and H Streets in Butner.

Case Managers will help residents devise their own individualized plans including services such as: mental fitness/behavioral health therapy; life skills training; family reunification counseling; spiritual counseling; educational advancement and certification; job search assistance; and community integration/post-graduate services.  Some services will be provided by Life Center staff, while others will be done through expert providers on or off campus.

The US Department of Veterans Affairs is assisting the Veterans Life Center in planning the program and operations.  The opening of the center is anticipated in 2018.

“Our goal is to create the best veterans reintegration facility in the country by implementing an innovative program utilizing and coordinating the outstanding resources available in the Triangle,” said John Turner, Executive Director of the Veterans Life Center.

The Veterans Life Center is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping troubled and at-risk 21st century military veterans find a constructive and personally satisfying place in civil society.  With financial support from state, federal, foundation, corporate and public sources, VLC is building a 150-bed residential facility in Butner, NC through which a battery of therapeutic and counseling services will be made available, both on- and off-site.  For more information, visit www.vlcnc-cares.org.

Amanda Jones Hoyle, Staff Writer- Triangle Business Journal
May 27, 2014

More details are coming out about the proposed new Veterans Life Center facility for homeless military veterans at the John Umstead Hospital Complex in Butner.

John Turner, executive director of the Raleigh nonprofit agency supporting the proposed Veterans Life Center, says the renovation of the building known as Building 71 on the campus will be the first of eight buildings they expect to use by completion of the VLC. A $4.2 million federal grant recently awarded to the Town of Butner on behalf of the Veterans Leadership Council of North Carolina-CARES nonprofit (via the North Carolina Department of Commerce’s community development block program) will be enough to cover most of the costs of opening Building 71, the largest of the eight buildings.

Turner says the VLC will employ about 26 people when it opens in early 2015, and it will have enough beds to house 150 veterans and their families on a temporary basis.

When all eight facilities are completed, it will have enough beds for about 400 homeless veterans, or a total cost of about $11.2 million. The VLC will also have staff providing professional counseling, health and wellness services, mentoring and other support services to help the veterans become self-sufficient again.

The buildings were originally constructed during World War II to serve as a hospital for the U.S. Army, but they are currently vacant. The North Carolina Council of State in 2013 agreed to leased the buildings for 25 years to the VLC-Cares for use as a facility to provide services for homeless and at risk veterans.

A sold-out, fund-raising event on behalf of Veterans Leadership Council of North Carolina-CARES was among the first banquets that North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory attended after being sworn in as governor in January 2013.

VLC-Cares’ advisory committee also includes former Governors Jim Hunt and Jim Martin and former Chief Justice Burley Mitchell.

U.S. Veterans Administration data shows that there are about 8,000 homeless veterans in North Carolina.

Amanda Jones Hoyle covers commercial and residential real estate. Follow her on Twitter @TBJrealestate