Government is Investing Millions to Update Infrastructure at VA Bedford

The Edith Nourse Rogers Veterans Hospital on Springs Road is 94 years old. And like any buildings from the 1920s, staying state-of-the-art is a struggle.

Indeed, the Veterans Affairs Department is prepared to recommend that the facility be replaced.

Nevertheless, over the past four years, the federal government has invested millions of dollars in upgrades and replacements.

Melissa Bailey, public affairs chief, said in an email, “We have capital improvements projects commitments up to $37.5 million presently underway and expect an additional $18 million heading into fiscal year 2023.”

Bailey noted that federal contract law prohibits disclosing specific project financial information. However, she summarized “examples of challenges we’ve handled over the past 10 years.”

One of the most ambitious achievements was replacement of the entire campus water distribution system, which took more than two years, beginning in 2019.

“We also enhanced our fire suppression capabilities by adding two additional water source cross connections, adding dedicated feeds to the fire suppression systems for each building, and by adding water pumps to amplify pressure from the water tower,” Bailey reported.

Energy conservation initiatives included modernizing thermostatic control valves on all steam radiators in 2020, and changing all light fixtures and light bulbs in 2018.

“We have a steam and condensate distribution life-cycle replacement project being developed now,” Bailey said. Also, “We are modernizing water heaters for our inpatient buildings, with the first replacements nearing completion and the next set getting ready to start.”

The spokeswoman added, “We have invested heavily in environmental control measures for stormwater runoff with more improvements planned for the near future.”

The hospital also began a campus-wide replacement and modernization of fire alarms and signals in 2017, “starting with our patient care buildings. We are now working on our administration and support buildings,” Bailey said

“Starting in 2018, we have been replacing and modernizing passenger and freight elevators throughout the campus,” Bailey continued. “Starting in 2016, the emergency generators and automatic transfer switches began life-cycle replacements. The last generator replacement is nearing completion.”

Mike Rosenberg can be reached at [email protected], or 781-983-1763

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