New Orlando VA hospital could take longer to build

Updated:

ORLANDO, Fla. - Hundreds of veterans waiting for a new Veterans Administration hospital to open in Orlando will have to wait even longer.  VA officials are threatening to fire the contractor building the hospital in Lake Nona’s medical city.  The contractor told them on Friday that work is two years behind schedule.

Marine veteran Morton Roberts has been waiting for the new 1.2 million square foot medical center to be ready so he can move into its living center.  On Friday he learned the contractor, Brasfield and Gorrie said it won’t be ready until the end of 2015.

“I think it’s bad,” said Roberts.

Orlando VA officials estimated the hospital is 60 percent done and insists the project can be completed by next June but only if the contractor puts more works on the job.

“There’s not sufficient manpower” said

In the meantime, some veterans have been forced to travel to Tampa for care.

The VA has also made arrangement with other hospitals but with over 90,000 veterans in Central Florida, it can cause issues.

“Right now I think it’s a little crowded, it is,” said army veteran Artis Hardy.

If the contractor does not work with the VA in speeding up and adding manpower, VA officials said in a worst case scenario they will get a new contractor.  If that happens they believe they will still finish by June 2013.