Navy veteran proud to help build new VA Medical Center

Navy veteran proud to help build new VA Medical Center
Construction continues on the site of the new VA Medical Center in Louisville, Ky., Nov. 18. Photo credit DVIDS

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Louisville District has brought together a team of experts in their fields to work on the new Louisville VA Medical Center, all bringing something unique to the project that will benefit veterans for decades to come. It’s a job that comes with a lot of responsibility and pride knowing just how important the new facility will be to area veterans.

One of those veterans is also one of the team members who are making the project possible. Jason Weber, a construction control representative on the Louisville VA Medical Center project, is not only a member of the district’s VA division team that’s working on the project, but he’s also a veteran and at times a patient of the current Robley Rex VA Medical Center.

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Weber served in the Navy Seabees for a total of 22 years with 14 of those being active duty and 8 years in the reserves. He retired from the Navy as Petty Officer 1st Class. He has worked for the Louisville District for about one year. Prior to that, he was a construction control representative at Fort Hunter Liggett, California. He started his career with USACE as a maintenance mechanic at Pine Flat Lake, California.

Weber said his job on the Louisville VAMC project is similar to being a construction inspector.

“Basically, I overlook the specifications and safety contract of the project and make sure the prime contractor is following those to ensure the construction is being done properly. I also write up a daily report on the activities I’ve witnessed, and any testing and inspections,” he said.

Weber said the skills he gained in the Navy have been useful in his positions with USACE.

“My rate in the Navy was BU (Builder). We specialize in building and repairing wood, masonry concrete, and steel structures. We also read and interpret blueprints and prepare sketches for projects making estimates of material, labor, and equipment requirements,” he explained. “Toward the end of my career in the Navy, my job was basically the same thing I do now.”

Scott Hearne, chief of Quality Assurance for the Louisville VA Medical Center project, said he feels all of Weber’s experience adds a great deal of value to his work and the project.

“As a Quality Assurance Representative on the project, Jason is in a unique position to influence the quality of construction for a facility he may utilize someday,” he said. “As a veteran, he recognizes the value of this first-class facility and what it will mean to the community. He understands the importance of accessibility, modern equipment, and the ability to have all of his healthcare needs met in one location.”

Weber said he’s honored to be working on a project both as a USACE employee and a veteran, that will benefit so many other veterans.

“I have only been in Louisville for just under a year and have used the
current VA hospital way more than I would prefer, but I hurt my knee recently and been using VA for care. I can tell you, when I talk to the staff at the hospital, they are really excited and cannot wait to be in their new facility,” he said. “It makes me really proud to say I am part of the team who is helping build this state-of-the-art hospital, especially knowing veterans in the area using the current hospital will be getting better care.”

The $900 million project designed by URS-SmithGroup is being constructed by Walsh-Turner Joint Venture II, Chicago, Illinois.

The project includes the construction of a new 910,115 square-foot medical center, parking structures, a 42,205 square-foot central utility plant, roadways, sidewalks, and other site improvements.

The new 104-bed, full-service hospital located on Brownsboro Road in Louisville, Kentucky, will provide world-class healthcare for more than 45,000 Veterans in Kentucky and Southern Indiana.

The new hospital will integrate modern patient-centered care concepts to provide the best possible care for Veterans. In addition, to specifically address the needs of women Veterans, the new hospital will include a Women’s Health Clinic with four Patient Aligned Care Teams.

Construction is anticipated to be complete in 2026.

Featured Image Photo Credit: DVIDS