U.S. Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) sent a letter to Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA) Robert Wilkie requesting an update on the construction status of the new outpatient clinic building at the St. Louis VA Medical Center-Jefferson Barracks. In August, Secretary Wilkie told Senator Hawley that construction on the St. Louis VA Medical Center-Jefferson Barracks would be completed by the end of 2019, followed by an activation period of approximately 6 months.

In the letter, Senator Hawley wrote, "I am writing now to confirm that the Department is still on track to meet that timeline, and specifically, that the Department has finished construction on the new outpatient clinic building and that the building is still on schedule to begin operations this summer. If construction is not completed or the building is not on schedule to start operations this summer, please provide a detailed explanation for why that is the case and expect further inquiry."

Full text of the letter is available here and below.


The Honorable Robert Wilkie
Secretary of Veterans Affairs
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
810 Vermont Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20420

Dear Secretary Wilkie:

I write as a follow-up to my previous inquiry about the status of the new outpatient clinic building at the St. Louis VA Medical Center-Jefferson Barracks.

On July 2, 2019, I sent you a letter requesting a clear and specific timeline for completion of the new outpatient clinic building at the Medical Center. My request followed reports that the building remained vacant, despite appearing to have been completed in 2017. It was the latest in a series of inquiries made by my office to the Department of Veterans Affairs about ongoing construction at the Medical Center.

In your August 8, 2019, response to my letter, you wrote, “I am pleased to report that the construction for this building is progressing toward completion by the end of 2019, followed by activation which is expected to take approximately 6 months.” My staff confirmed this timeline with the Medical Center’s leadership during a site visit on August 27, 2019.

I am writing now to confirm that the Department is still on track to meet that timeline, and specifically, that the Department has finished construction on the new outpatient clinic building and that the building is still on schedule to begin operations this summer. If construction is not completed or the building is not on schedule to start operations this summer, please provide a detailed explanation for why that is the case and expect further inquiry.

Thank you for your time and attention.

Sincerely,

Josh Hawley
United States Senator