Kernersville, NC -- Relief is in sight for Triad veterans who need care.
The Department of Veterans Affairs is planning to build a new VA Health Care Center in the area.
"It seems that the VA has narrowed it down to the preferred location being in Kernersville across from the new Kernersville Medical Center," said Kernersville Mayor Dawn Morgan.
The VA is planning to build seven of the multi-speciality clinics across the country. Three will be in North Carolina with one of them in the Winston-Salem area, according to VA spokesperson Bruce Sprecher. The VA is not commenting on the exact location yet.
Statement from VA:
Thank you for your interest in the planned leased-based, Winston-Salem Health Care Center. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has made a determination as to the preferred site for this project. On October 26, 2011, all parties who offered their properties to VA were informed whether their site was selected as a preferred site or not. VA must now conduct a series of due diligence steps, including a fair market value appraisal, survey, title search, Geotechnical study, Phase 1 Environmental Study, and National Environmental Policy Act compliance while concurrently negotiating an assignable option to purchase the site. Once the due diligence steps are complete and the assignable option executed, VA will release the final acreage and location of the site. Due to the ongoing procurement activities, no additional information can be provided at this time.
The health care center will offer care veterans have not had in the Triad before. Right now they have to drive to Durham or Salisbury.
"When you get there your family is burdened down with that trip too and really cost of gas, some of them can't afford it," said Ivey Redmon, a Word War II veteran who lives in Kernersville.
He has been lucky with his health, but had a friend who made the drive to the VA hospital in Salisbury once a month for five years. His friend's wife told News 2 once her husband was admitted there, she made the drive two or three times a week for about a year, which added to the strain.
"With the ongoing wars we've had there's a lot of younger veterans seeking the care so there's definitely an increased need," said Mayor Morgan.
"We're excited that the VA is considering a Kernersville location and this location adjacent to the hospital will be a great location for a VA outpatient clinic. It'll be fantastic for veterans, it's good for the Kernersville community and it's great news for the Triad," she added.
The VA healthcare center is expected to be about 300,000 square feet and is projected to open in 2014.