Construction is taking place both inside and outside at the Wisconsin Veterans Home.
“The road construction started right after Memorial Day,” said George Konkol, who is the director of engineering and physical plant at the veterans home.
He said the construction has been split into seven phases. “The main thing we have to keep in consideration is we have to have access to all buildings at all times,” he said. “We’re not just taking care of the blacktop and the sidewalks. We’re also taking care of the infrastructure.”
Konkol said that initially, the project called for just doing the blacktop.
However, the age of the facility resulted in the decision to look at everything below the blacktop. As a result, the project also includes sanitary and storm sewer work where necessary.
“It increased the cost of the project, but we didn’t want to be tearing out new blacktop,” he said.
Konkol anticipates that the construction will be completed sometime around October.
No work will take place in the cemetery.
When the veterans home began, there were gravel and dirt roads.
He said that over the years, patches were made and layers were added over layers.
“It was about seven years ago that the discussion began about doing the project,” Konkol said.
In some areas, the blacktop is being ground up and new blacktop is being put down, while in other areas, the asphalt is being removed before the new blacktop is placed.
“It’s going to be done right,” he said.
And, while construction is under way outside, inside of Olson and Stordock halls, the tub rooms and nursing stations are being remodeled.
Konkol said it will result in more efficiency and energy savings due to the state-of-the-art tubs.
Another recent project at Olson Hall was the replacement of all the windows, which will also mean an energy savings, he said.
Konkol said other completed projects at the veterans home include a new chiller and cooling tower.
The existing chiller was purchased as used equipment in the mid-1990s and had failed. The new chiller, although larger, will provide more cooling at a lower cost than the one it replaced, he said.
Konkol said the cooling towers were installed in 1993 and were also inefficient and outdated.
Other projects include the remodeling of the physical therapy department to combine it with the occupational therapy department and the repainting of the King water tower.
“That should be starting around the first of July,” he said of the painting of the water tower.