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VA Hospital Still Needs $340 Million In Equipment After Initial Cost

AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) — The Veterans Affairs Department expects to spend about $340 million to buy medical equipment and train staff for its new Denver hospital, on top of the estimated $1.73 billion to build the facility.

The $340 million also includes patient beds and furniture, VA spokeswoman Elaine Buehler said.

The facility boasts state-of-the-art treatment rooms and more than double the parking spaces of the current VA Hospital in Denver.

Some believe the features like a 1.5 million gallon water tank, multiple generators and a towering concourse that connects most buildings in the hospital put the project well over budget.

RELATED STORIES: VA Hospital Story Archive

The additional equipment costs are known as activation expenses and are budgeted separately from construction costs and congress has already allocated some of the money, according to Buehler.

The Denver hospital, under construction in suburban Aurora, has become a major embarrassment for the VA because of construction cost overruns, separate from the activation expenses.

The hospital won't be finished until 2017. Last year, the VA said it would be done in 2015 and cost $630 million to build. Costs have since ballooned to more than $1.7 billion.

PHOTO GALLERY: Take A Look Inside The VA Hospital

VA Hospital Under Construction
(credit: CBS)

The VA blames a flawed design process and other problems. An internal investigation is underway.

The Senate Veterans Affairs Committee is traveling to Colorado to take a closer look at the project and the construction. A hearing is scheduled for Friday.

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