Butler VA Health Care System
VA Butler looks for new clinic site
January 24, 2012http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/regional/s_778045.html
TRIB LIVE-- VA Butler Healthcare looks for new site for outpatient clinic
VA Butler Healthcare plans to relocate its outpatient clinic to a new building because, officials say, its facility in Butler Township is outdated and outpatient care is too spread out on the agency's 88-acre campus.
"We want to have state-of-the-art health care space and consolidate outpatient services and meet increased patient demand," said Ken Kalberer, acting associate director for operations.
Officials have not decided where to build and are considering four sites. One spot, 20 acres on Route 68 that Butler Township owns, would keep the center in the township. The others, which are privately owned, are on Duffy Road in Center; at Route 422 and Eagle Mill Road in Franklin; and at Routes 422 and 356 on land that is split between Butler and Center.
All sites are within two miles of the campus on New Castle Road, where staff treat about 18,600 outpatients annually in a 250,000-square-foot building. About 3,000 more outpatients are expected over the next 10 years, Kalberer said.
Overseen by the Department of Veterans Affairs, VA Butler provides veterans with primary, specialty and mental health care and social support services. The operation employs 600 workers, 560 of whom are full-time equivalent employees. About 450 will move to the new site, Kalberer said.
If the outpatient clinic leaves Butler Township, the municipality won't lose property tax revenue because the site is tax-exempt, township Manager Edward Kirkwood said. It would lose about $21,150 in local services tax and, although that wouldn't have a huge impact on the township's operations, "we hate to lose anything that we have," he said.
The new facility of more than 200,000 square feet will be up to three stories high. A private developer will pay to build the facility, which VA Butler will lease for at least 20 years, Kalberer said.
"We'll make a selection of the land and the developer at the same time, and then that's when we'll award the lease," said Kalberer, who said that will occur in late May or early June. The new building is expected to be operating in early 2014.
Some operations will remain at the New Castle Road campus, such as inpatient care services. A 56-bed transitional rehabilitation residence will be finished by April and the second half of a 60-bed community living center/nursing home will be finished this year, Kalberer said.
A warehouse and fire station will remain at the campus.
Officials have not decided on a use for the vacated building, Kalberer said.