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Work progresses on $480M Holyoke veterans' home

The construction site for the new Veterans' Home in Holyoke.
Adam Frenier
The construction site for the new Veterans' Home in Holyoke.

Construction of a new state-run veterans’ home in Holyoke is progressing. The $480-million project will replace the current building.

Formerly known as the Holyoke Soldiers' Home, the facility in use now was the site of a deadly 2020 COVID-19 outbreak, where at least 76 veterans died — a tragedy that helped the push to replace it. Work on the new building has been taking place over the last several months with construction crews focusing on the foundation.

During a tour of the construction site on Tuesday, State Secretary of Veterans Services Jon Santiago, said once it is completed, the Veterans' Home in Holyoke will have a much different set-up than is used now.

"This is moving towards a small family home, moving away from the institutionalization of veterans in long-term care, making sure that veterans have a stable unit where they live, where they can access food, services on the same floor," he said.

Joe Fazio, project manager with the Massachusetts Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance said the project is running slightly ahead of schedule and workers are expected to begin erecting steel for the structure in the next several weeks.

The new eight-story home will feature space for 234 residents and will also accommodate a 40-person adult day care program.

The new building not only will provide a modern facility for veterans, but in the short term will also bolster the area economy.

U.S. Rep. Richard Neal, D - Springfield, who also toured the construction site, said that’s often the case with a large-scale project such as this.

"Suppliers come to mind, there will be a lot of terrific wages," Neal said. "There's a PLA (project labor agreement) here as you know with the AFL-CIO and the construction trades, so I think the economic spin-off for the people in the Pioneer Valley is going to be pretty handsome."

The new Veterans’ Home in Holyoke is expected to be completed late in 2026 with veterans expected to move in early in 2027. Once the transition takes place, the current facility located on the same piece of property will be demolished.

Adam joined NEPM as a freelance reporter and fill-in operations assistant during the summer of 2011. For more than 15 years, Adam has had a number stops throughout his broadcast career, including as a news reporter and anchor, sports host and play-by-play announcer as well as a producer and technician.
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